Lieutenant grounded for 'borrowing' plane

2012-11-28 14:18

Cape Town - A South African Air Force pilot has been grounded for "borrowing" a plane to visit a friend in neighbouring Botswana and an officer has been reprimanded for spicing up her uniform with hot pink slippers, the defence ministry said on Wednesday.

The pilot has been "grounded and subsequently suspended from flying" for nipping across the border to visit a pal, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said in reply to a parliamentary question.

Earlier this year local media reported that the offender, now named as Lieutenant NSK Bulwana, flew across the border in a Cessna 172 without submitting a flight plan or permission to enter Botswana's airspace.

He was visiting a friend who worked at the airport in the capital Gaborone.

Meanwhile the minister of defence said a senior air force staff officer who accessorised her uniform with bright pink slippers during a shopping trip had been "reprimanded".

The woman, a lieutenant colonel, was photographed pushing a trolley at a checkout queue at a shopping mall.

She was in uniform including a garrison cap.

  • bibi.vanzyl - 2012-11-28 14:23

    You've got to laugh.

  • pdvermaak - 2012-11-28 14:33

    Eish, unbeleiveble. Thats now for the plane and slippers.

  • - 2012-11-28 14:35

    I wonder what would have happened if Botswana shot him down for entering their airspace illegally? That's what they SHOULD have done anyway .... do these guys think the OWN everything and is beyond rules and laws?? NOW one can see why we couldn't sort out the mess in Lesotho a few years ago... SANDF is a joke

      rontheogre - 2012-11-28 17:56

      After being reprimanded and grounded for not following the rules as per the new, but unseen government guidelines, Lieutenant NSK Bulwana will next time commandeer two more aircraft in case the Botswana government shoots one down or any mechanical problems are experienced along the way, or both.

  • pete.bower.982 - 2012-11-28 14:36

    I didn't realise Boswell Wilkie's had moved to Voortrekkerhoogte, or whatever it's called nowadays...

  • anna.turner.9237 - 2012-11-28 14:37

    Rolling around laughing....hahahah...bloody idoits..

  • Sunshine246 - 2012-11-28 14:44

    Talk about being the laughing stock of the ridiculous... So sad to see this pathetic attempt at "disciplining" transgressors. One of the best defence forces in the world (for it's size and resources)not even 20 years ago...and now...? Absolutely pathetic...

  • stuartgrantferguson - 2012-11-28 14:47

    What a disgraceful lot! No understanding or pride in an institution which was built upon the hard work and sacrifice of thousands of South Africans (of all races) who came before them. The SANDF should be one of the Republic's finest outward representations. Sadly it is not. On top of this there is the Lt Col at DLI that wore a dead chaplain's medals, and the chap who was appointed OC of Tvl Scottish apparently without having passed an officer's course (in addition to a questionable past). So sad.

  • flysouth - 2012-11-28 14:53

    Apart from the serious offence of stealing a SAAF aircraft this fellow has failed to file a flight plan, mandatory whenever crossing any international boundary and has then illegally entered another country. In other air forces the first offence would result in a Court Martial at least. These are all charges which must carry severe penalties, as they would for any civilian.

      andrew.selous - 2012-11-28 15:08

      'as they would for any civilian' these two should be made civilians at the least

      gcj.wood - 2012-11-28 18:37

      Agreed flysouth, I've just retired from the RAF after 22 years and can tell you that this disgrace to the uniform would no longer be in the service after pulling this little stunt. Firstly crossing another country's border without prior permission, especially in a military aircraft could very easily be construed as "an act of war" and this possible embarrassing international incident aside, this eejit put his own life in danger as Botswanan Air Defence would of been totally justified too blow him out of the sky as soon as he entered their airspace. In any other Airforce they would of thrown the preverbial book at him, he would of been charged with theft of an aircraft, theft of aviation fuel, conduct unbecoming an officer, disobeying standing orders and bringing the Airforce into disrepute to name but a few. The result would be a dishonourable discharge and a bit of jail time thrown in for good measure but alas TIA.

      thyphoid.jack - 2012-11-28 18:48

      @gcj.wood - Thats rich - i remember reading here about Prince William flying his helo in a fly past of Kate's house, without a flight plan no permission etc. OK, granted it wasnt into another country, but why wasnt the book thrown at your royal???? Otherwise i agree, its sad when things come to this.

      gcj.wood - 2012-11-28 19:42

      @thypoid.jack, LOL you got me there, I think it had something to do with the Chief of the Air Staff not wanting to p**s off the future King of England.

      george.tjoens.3 - 2012-11-29 13:54

      flysouth: it was not a military aricraft. He "borrowed" a civilian single engine aircraft that is based at Grand Central Airport near Midrand - without the knowledge of the owner!!

      gcj.wood - 2012-11-29 14:35

      @george.tjoens.3 , so he's simply a thief and a commissioned one at that? Servicemen don't abide tea-leafs, there's no place for them in the military as being one goes against the ethos and core values every serviceman holds dear! SADF GET RID OF THIS TRASH NOW. End of message, end of broadcast

  • Shannon Matthew - 2012-11-28 14:55

    its no joke,there is no discipline and pride in the SANDF,I'm a student at Northlink college which is on the same grounds as the SAN.

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-11-28 14:59

    Only difference between SA Military and a circus is that the military has more tents!

      tiaan.vanderberg.75 - 2012-11-28 21:52

      And in the circus the clowns arnt in charge

  • steven.douglas.165 - 2012-11-28 15:00

    Imagine going to war with these palookas at the helm!!!!

  • sean.noble1 - 2012-11-28 15:09

    More like used the plane to drop off some bullets and rhino horn in exchange for some diamonds.

  • bob.small.7547 - 2012-11-28 15:09

    Why don’t the have a census to see how many morons are in this country...!

      basie.pretorius - 2012-11-28 15:42

      Close to 50 mil

  • Mbuso Mbhele - 2012-11-28 15:10


  • Mbuso Mbhele - 2012-11-28 15:13

    is tht a joke?

  • siliziwem - 2012-11-28 15:23

    I never heard of ths b4...visiting a friend with an army plane. Only a person with no morals can do ths, jst like Zuma with nkandla!

  • Leon Williams - 2012-11-28 15:24

    omgg r u serious where is our country going too lol.imagine you go visit your bra like that like its broe ek gaan my jet kom park by jou.lmk

      elske.joubert - 2012-11-29 14:29


  • ian.robertreid - 2012-11-28 15:25

    You people u know who u r? you r a f~~~g joke? wat example as high rankers do u set 4 the others? shame??? get a life??

  • siliziwem - 2012-11-28 15:30

    Ths country is jst lyk a movie...Rambo first blood!

  • deon.dutoit.758 - 2012-11-28 15:31

    DISGUSTING - where is the discipline....., pride and maturity? Never heard of such a laugh "I hope she wears her slippers when she has o go to war"...disrepectful bloody agent!

  • linda.duits - 2012-11-28 15:36

    Jeez, you don't need to go to a circus anymore, just go and look at the SANDF! Bunch of clowns! The pilot should have been stripped of his rank, what he did was dangerous. The mama and the slippers, well what can I say... I have seen them walking in the shops with their pj's on. You're a disgrace to the uniform and shouldn't be wearing it.

  • gbt.smith - 2012-11-28 15:40

    We do not have an army, we have people on the gravy train doing absolutely nothing and getting paid for it. P S Lieutenant NSK Bulwana I need to visit a friend in Australia inbox me when you are available

  • mattcredible - 2012-11-28 15:47

    The sad thing is, there are some really decent, hard-working and disciplined individuals in the SANDF. The basics is still not joke, regardless of what you may think (toppies, I'm looking at you guys that were only there 'cos you HAD to be, the people there today are volunteers...). SANDF soldiers still take part in regular inter-military skill competitions against such countries as the UK and the US and others and they always put in a good showing, often coming in top 3 positions. Sadly, there promotions are not done correctly and the incompetent often end up at the top, trampling your riflemen, AB's and airmen. Easy to sit behind a keyboard and chirp, but not easy to remember your military is mostly made up of good, hard-working people. Remember that.

      willem.dehaan.94 - 2012-11-28 15:59

      You believe that, Matt?

      mattcredible - 2012-11-28 16:58

      Yes. Yea I do, because I've seen and experienced it. Went to private schools, went to Wits so I know the "good side" of life and I also went to Saldhana and am now involved with a mech infantry reserve unit in Cape Town, so I've experienced and seen the not so good.

      ken.koen - 2012-11-29 09:11

      I have served as a conscript, a permenant force member, in both the SADF and the SANDF, and as a part time forces member in the SANDF. I am sorry, but what I see today breaks my heart.I am not chirping behind a keyboard, i am talking from experience.

      moratsi - 2012-11-29 11:50

      @Koen...SADF died in 1994 man, u still trapped in the past. U cannot compare an apartheid dominated defence force to our National Defence Force. I'm sure u were gonna say a totally different story if the parties involved were whites

  • dragonfire47 - 2012-11-28 15:51

    If we are ever invaded we are stuffed, it will be up to all ex sadf personell to save this country

      marius.vanwyk.5621 - 2012-11-28 16:09

      I am not fighting next to these idiots.

      roger.kaputnick.90 - 2012-11-28 18:44

      I would join the other side rather.

      dragonfire47 - 2012-11-29 08:37

      @marius, me neither, I meant we would have to form rebel groups and do it on our own, those morons will get us killed, you cant run in the bush in pink slippers, hey wait sec,good plan ;) easy sniper pickings

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-11-29 09:20

      3000 SA men against 50 000 terrorists and today no one knows who won and most called that fight a stale mate. For those who know what I’m talking about: Those days are gone forever.

  • willem.dehaan.94 - 2012-11-28 15:55

    Now, that is what I call discipline! Next time, I suggest giving them a medal for exceptional courage in the face of the enemy, something like the VC or so for daring to break the rule! The unauthorised use of the plane was theft and therefore a crime in common law and the awful pink slippers - well, that too was a crime against all the rules of fashion. Oh, what has the SADF deteriorated to!

  • Lana Van Der Berg - 2012-11-28 16:01

    My sister is currently serving in the military and won't even carry a shopping bag while in uniform. This is disgraceful and give proud soldiers a really bad name! They should both be dis-honorably discharged!

  • gary.landman - 2012-11-28 16:13

    Nice choice for minister of defence..South Africa is really progressing!

  • andrew.g.harris1 - 2012-11-28 16:20

    and they wonder why so many Saffas are joining forign militries...

  • freddie.jones.58367 - 2012-11-28 16:23

    Just to remind Y'all of the offense:

  • mart.botha - 2012-11-28 16:25

    If our armed forces ever have to go to war to defend us,......we're toast! Probably go on strike wanting an increase in 'danger pay' in the middle of a contact situation. This is what happens when you lower disciplinary standards and accept mediocrity. The pilot should have been kicked out the force, and as for the 'pink slipper madam'....well the same....sounds like she cannot be contributing much....retarded comes to mind!!

  • alisha.abad.7 - 2012-11-28 16:29

    This is outrageous. She should be fired.

  • gillian.sanderson - 2012-11-28 16:37

    Now do something about the KZN mec who was in the helicopter (one and only), when it was needed for an emergency, and the "patient' subsequently died!

  • sibusiso.mhlongo.35 - 2012-11-28 16:43

    some people will blame Zuma for this, because everything that goes wrong in our is blamed on him

      rontheogre - 2012-11-28 18:01

      Sounds a bit like apartheid, doesn't it. Your word are quite ironic and brought a huge smile to my face. Now the rest of the week can go to hell without me caring a bit.

      sibusiso.mhlongo.35 - 2012-11-28 19:29

      ja ne?

      gungets.tuft - 2012-11-29 07:58

      US President Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that said "The buck stops here", and he was right. Eventually the responsibility for running the country and it's agencies rests with the president. He appointed Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, she apopints the chiefs of staff and should ensure that they delegate authority properly and maintain military standards. This is NOT the first incident, there are many others of sheer indiscipline and bad judgement. So, yes bro, indirectly Zuma is responsible. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula doesn't even have the discipline to push herself away from the supper table, let alone run the military. I can just imagine what Joe Slovo would be saying.

  • wesley.fick - 2012-11-28 17:07

    A big round of applause for the man who took the Cessna because he's just showing how easy it is to do it - to Botswana, of all places. Don't hate the player, hate the game. Also, a Cessna is tiny - is this what the Army uses? If so, we're a joke. The Colonel should be reprimanded because wearing unorthodox uniform is unbecoming of someone in her rank. We should have our soldiers and officers show the same pride Americans do in their appearance and their role in government.

      rontheogre - 2012-11-28 18:04

      Jeeezzzz. Please give the guy some slack. This was our first attempt at a stealth attack!

  • terrence.schwartz.1 - 2012-11-28 17:49

    Incidents like these lay claim to the phrase, we are a failed state. They should have been FIRED!!

  • ann.everts - 2012-11-28 17:58

    What a disgrace and another episode that makes the SANDF the laughing stock around the world!!!

  • ruthyvonne.batchelor - 2012-11-28 19:01

    Why on earth would she spoil the loook of bright pink slippers with an air force uniform?

  • louwhan.hoffmann - 2012-11-28 19:41

    For a minute I thought it was a Malema follower invading Botswana.

  • beverly.young3 - 2012-11-28 19:45

    Ha ha ha ha.........oh this made my better or worse than Zuma's skins he wears ne?? Spicing up his whateva!! Ha ha ha ha As for the plane? 'tis werelds se goed ne? ha ha ha ha

  • ben.lantz1 - 2012-11-28 21:02

    Sorry General I went for a piss break

  • rory.n.price - 2012-11-28 21:17

    The most powerful Defence Force in Africa, thought Zuma made us the laughing stock of the world, we now have an army of clowns as well

  • Disco.mathata - 2012-11-28 23:25

    Ya go monate ko masoleng u jst use state property to visit a fwend lol,welcum to defence mense

  • wayne.faulds - 2012-11-29 06:07

    Says a lot for the discipline and self respect of the current crop of airforce personel.

  • ken.koen - 2012-11-29 09:04

    When we still had a REAL Defence Force, Army, Air Force and Navy, the pilot would have been ARRESTED, and the comrade in pink slippers would never have become a Lt Col in the first place. Sad, sad sad, and to think out Air Force was once respected throughout the world.

  • dianne.neyt - 2012-11-29 13:51

    I'd like to borrow the keys to the Reserve Bank.....I wonder if I stand any chance!

  • craig.hagan.77 - 2012-11-29 14:33

    How was the L/Colonel reprimanded I have reason to believe she was promoted this year to Full Colonel . Tell me again how did the ANC military wing over power the old SANDF.

  • keigan.hart - 2012-11-29 15:11

    Yip, this is what our military has come to....

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