Kabul victims 'were sitting ducks'

2012-09-19 08:24

Johannesburg - A Johannesburg helicopter pilot who quit a job in Kabul recently out of fear for his safety, has spoken about the dangers of working in Afghanistan.

Eight South Africans, who were working for a private aviation company, were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Kabul on Tuesday.

"They were sitting ducks," pilot Clint Buckman told The New Age newspaper.

He quit a similar job in Kabul "after a week" because he realised it was "too dangerous".

But the job paid well, he said.

"The guys earn at least $850 (about R7 000) a day up there, but life is cheap and it is too dangerous to work there...

"We have to fly 500 feet above the ground while the American gunships cruise at the safe level of 5 000 feet," said Buckman.

The helicopter pilots, engineers and operations personnel were ferried to and from the airport and were "sitting ducks for attacks", he said.

"These pilots fly charter choppers with supplies, logistics and emergency supplies for various contractors in Afghanistan."

  • andre.c.79 - 2012-09-19 08:37

    My sympathies go to the families of this senseless tragedy. May this be a warning to all South Africans working abroad, particularly in conflict zones. In Afghanistan and Iraq in particular private contractors regardless of nationality are legitimate targets for non-state armed groups. Private companies are in a sense viewed as part of the governing structure which groups like the Taleban and the Islamic State of Iraq are attempting to overthrow. If one continues to operate in-country, understanding these threats, one must still take care to protect oneself. Close protection, security escorts, transport in unbranded vehicles and maintaining a low profile are just some measures that should be adopted. I also hope that the SA government will take note of this incident and put plans in place to safeguard SA nationals travelling abroad.

      peter.gugelmin - 2012-09-19 08:50

      Check your facts first. This particular company was doing relief work.

      jack.blacking.56 - 2012-09-19 09:03

      Come on, this attack was in retaliation to a stupid YOU TUBE video, a pathetic video that obviously hit a nerve with these people, My question to them is WHY? Why get so upset, resorting to killing innocent civilians when you believe that the video is not a true reflection on your religion? I know that the only reason i sometimes get upset is because the truth sometimes hurts, Perhaps this could be case here, i don’t know, but really killing people over a video. Hell why don’t they come back with a similar video depicting the truth, or ripping of Christians, Jews, i'm sure they'll all just laugh it off, instead of killing everyone

      bouncing.betty.33 - 2012-09-19 09:10

      @peter, you need to check your facts first, its not only relief work...

      shakes.tshabala - 2012-09-19 09:15

      One should remember that extremist people will say and do anything to satisfy themselves. That applies in all facets be it religion, sport, politics etc. Another point don't think that all Muslims are extremist. They have a wonderful religion are wonderful people and are non violent people, except those extremist. I know many of them at work, at varsity and even social circles.

      trevor.myburgh.12 - 2012-09-19 09:37

      Andre, I agree with you. But why is it when we say anything about the Muslim faith they call for a jihad. Jesus was crucified beaten, spit on, hacked, he is the almighty the creator of everything (God manifested in man)he asked for a glass water they gave him vinegar, today still the crucify him again, yet we say nothing do nothing. they even bomb up our churches or don't allow us to preach the gospel in there countries, like they can freely do in our country. And yet we still love them, and pray for them. We are truly living in the end time. God bless you richly, with peace

  • veldt66 - 2012-09-19 08:40

    Afghanistan is simply too dangerous, dont go there if you care about yr family.

      Mathaithai - 2012-09-19 12:44

      The love of money is the cause of their death. Play away from restive areas. I better die in SA than to earn R7000 per day in Afghanistan and end up six feet down!

  • thys.louw - 2012-09-19 08:50

    the sad thing is that ex police men who are working in Afgan are percentage wise safer than local cops in SA

      lorain.maseko - 2012-09-19 11:21

      Thys let them continue going there then if that's the case.

  • Harold Chisimba - 2012-09-19 08:52

    When time has come for you to die,you cant avoid it so don't take the decesead as stupid.And its just ur lucky not cleverness.

  • marcanthonytaylor - 2012-09-19 09:14

    Crusades? Inquisition? Antisemitism? Christians have done, are doing and will continue to to the same thing.

      james.howlett.54540 - 2012-09-19 09:25

      You do realise that the Crusades and the Inquisition that you mention happened in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. Christianity has moved in the last few hundred years, but the Muslims still seem to be stuck in the dark ages.

      ferialm - 2012-09-19 15:49

      Dear James not so many years ago in our very South Africa there were groups of so-called-christians backing and preaching the hatred of apartheid. They were not to shocked of saddened at the ploughing of dead bodies into the potatoe fields. I don't think everyone is as enlightened as you would have us believe.

  • flysouth - 2012-09-19 09:16

    If ever proof of what the video is apparently claiming - that Islam is a cult of violence and nothing more - then this is it!

      bouncing.betty.33 - 2012-09-19 09:35

      Stop blaming ordinary Muslims for one radicals action, its unfair and uneducated.

      Tony Lapson - 2012-09-19 11:02

      Betty, in every single one of these articles, I only seen a single Muslim commenter condemn these acts. The rest went on to spew hatred for America and Christianity. They would rather argue with people who diss Islam. That is that.

      lorain.maseko - 2012-09-19 11:30

      Flysouth dont go to their countries keep your nose out of their religion and maybe just maybe they wont kill you.

      ferialm - 2012-09-19 15:52

      no fly - if there was proof that a psychotic group of individuals - NOT A RELIGION is a cult of violence and nothing more then maybe this is it. What religion was that batman shooter??/ I wonder. what does bush claim to be??? I wonder. I live in a 95% muslim community on the west rand and never, NOT ONCE did you hear on the news that our neighbours in Randfontein or Krugersdorp were attacked by mad muslims. We have the second largest Tertiary Islamic Institution in this town - and the only thing that disturbs our peace are the average criminals like house breakers.

  • Zzsm Moolla - 2012-09-19 09:27

    @jack . islamic beliefs are strong and its a true religion not a joke thats y they wont sit and laugh about it like u wud do. these same murderes are killed and oppressed daily . wat do u expect . wake up

      ross.holloway.73 - 2012-09-19 10:50

      This still is no excuse to murder people. Especially people unrelated to the events that have enraged you

      reg.nagel - 2012-09-19 11:37

      STILL... MURDERES...

  • mmangaliso - 2012-09-19 11:41

    i dont care R7000 a day a day well! I would would work R7000 a day

  • lynnette.hugo - 2012-09-19 12:20

    Why is the company transporting these pilots and engineers in a "minibus" when they know the dangers? Why transport them at all? Why not house them in accomodation at the airport?

      bouncing.betty.33 - 2012-09-19 15:25

      money, the bosses like to take a HUGE cut and we get nothing... The private security company that guards the house where we ALL live, drives to work in full body armour with guns and travels in an armoured car. Guess what the pilots and engineers get, a minibus exactly the same as ones here in SA with NO protection whatsoever!

  • walter.lebza - 2012-09-19 15:54

    R7000 a day? Give me that job. Its easy to spot a suicide bomber. If it is woman, she's obviously wearing a burqa. If it is man, he's wearing a dress and long beard and he won't sit down because a bomb is stuck in his butt.

      james.peterson.14289210 - 2012-09-19 19:26

      Best comment ever !!! well done mate ... I like your style. u can also tell if they are a suicide bomber by how passionatley they kiss their camel before they say goodbye

      bouncing.betty.33 - 2012-09-20 11:12

      bunch of wankers

  • eric.f.moloi - 2012-09-19 23:50

    In fact Islam is nt a difficult religion a person cn be a folower,bt de mindset n emotions of de devotees harms everything,de prophet in these religion is taken more seriously thn God,i ve seen ppl make jokes abt God or Jesus,bt u ll never hear Christians being emotionally charged

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