DA shocked by NW deputy leader plane disappearance

2015-10-08 17:33
Petro Nel, left, with another DA member in a photo taken earlier this year. (Photo from Facebook)

Petro Nel, left, with another DA member in a photo taken earlier this year. (Photo from Facebook)

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Johannesburg - The DA in the North West was in a state of shock on Thursday following the disappearance of a plane in Nepal carrying deputy leader Petro Nel.

"The Democratic Alliance North West has learned with shock today that the ultra-light aircraft in which our deputy provincial leader was travelling today has been reported as missing in Nepal," provincial leader Joe McGluwa said in a statement.

"Petro Nel was on a holiday trip there on a sight-seeing flight over a mountainous area when all contact was lost with the aircraft."

Search teams have already started looking for her and the Russian pilot.

"Petro has to date served as a DA Ward Councillor in the Matlosana Municipality in Klerksdorp and earlier this year received the special Paul Harris Rotary Award for her... dedication towards community work and upliftment," McGluwa said.

"Petro was elected DA North West Deputy Leader in 2015."

The DA held Nel's family in its thoughts. Her husband JC, two sons, family and friends had the full support of the party, which hoped for her safe return, it said.

A call to Nel's phone was met by a voice message from her stating she was away and would be back on October 25.

Earlier, former provincial leader and current party leader in the provincial legislature Chris Hattingh told News24 Nel went on a sightseeing tour earlier on Thursday morning.

The plane Nel was on took off from the town of Pokhara.

News agency Agence France-Presse reported that Nel was the only passenger on the aircraft.

Nepalese authorities were in touch with her husband in South Africa, Hattingh said.

Nel had been a councillor in the Matlosana municipality for the past 15 years.

Read more on:    da  |  nepal

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