SANDF still IDing crash victims

2012-12-07 20:21

Pietermaritzburg - The 11 people killed when an SA Air Force aircraft crashed in the Drakensberg near Ladysmith are still being identified, the military said on Friday.

"We cannot release the names yet because the identification process is still on-going," SA National Defence Force spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said.

"They need to be positively identified before names can be released and that takes time."

Six SA Air Force members and five others were killed. The plane went missing en route to Mthatha after taking off from Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria on Wednesday. The aircraft had been expected to land in Mthatha at 10:00.

After no communication from the Dakota, the SAAF activated a search and rescue mission. The wreckage was found on Thursday morning.

On Friday morning Dlamini denied a report that former president Nelson Mandela's medicine was on board the aircraft. Neither did he want to entertain claims that Mandela's medical team refused to board the plane out of safety fears.

These claims were made in a statement issued by the SA Security Forces Union (Sasfu), a trade union which deregistered by the defence department last year.

Earlier in the day, it was reported there was a possibility that the plane was allowed to fly in the severe weather because Mandela's medication was on board.

Sasfu claimed Mandela's medical staff was supposed to have been on the plane, but safety fears stopped them from boarding.

Dlamini said the plane had been overhauled and was basically a "new plane".

A board of inquiry had been convened to investigate the cause of the accident, Dlamini said.

"Investigators are deep in their work and we should allow the enquiry to complete its work before we speculate on what happened."

Dlamini said the SANDF was unhappy that the names of the 11 victims had been released by some media, saying not all the next-of-kin had been consulted.

  • trevor.pietersen.3 - 2012-12-07 20:37

    mmmmm.....UNDERCOVER flight?????....why has other news channels released the names already...they from YSTERPLAAT airforce base???? "a major/a captain...and the payloader"????

      fussed.anderson - 2012-12-07 20:42

      We cannot release the names yet because the identification process is still on-going," SA National Defence Force spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said. But there names have been released yesterday

      fussed.anderson - 2012-12-07 20:46

      Dlamini said the plane had been overhauled and was basically a "new plane". Ok Who overhauled the plane.????? Could only have been inhouse then

      JanGrimbeek - 2012-12-07 21:26

      Maybe you are spot on with the "Undercover" part. "Covert.... maybe ??!! According to the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, a covert operation (also as CoveOps or covert ops) is "an operation that is so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor." It is intended to create a political effect which can have implications in the military, intelligence or law enforcement arenas. Covert operations aim to fulfill their mission objectives without any parties knowing who sponsored or carried out the operation." (Source Wikipedia)

      scouter.fourone - 2012-12-07 22:31

      Idiots, playing at being in authority .....

      kseyffert - 2012-12-08 10:55

      Trevor, Really? It was a military flight... The details are generally NOT public knowledge for security reasons and regardless of whether it was just a general supply or routing passenger trip security is exercised for procedural reasons.

  • Erna - 2012-12-07 20:38

    How hard can it be?

  • trevor.pietersen.3 - 2012-12-07 20:39

    Madiba medication???? then HE SICK?

      JanGrimbeek - 2012-12-07 20:46

      Or maybe some other payload, that the SA public is not supposed to know about!

  • homes.zona - 2012-12-07 20:46

    Surely they should know exactly who boarded that flight?

      Benjamin - 2012-12-07 21:59

      The army has obviously changed a bit since I was there.....or then again maybe this was a top secret flight on a top secret mission.

  • steven.m.armour - 2012-12-07 21:05

    Very strange....believe it or not.Another conspiracy?

  • lenox.ntlantsana - 2012-12-07 21:22

    People should stop jumping the gun! I mean SANDF personnel as well as the media. Imagine having know from media that your son, daughter, wife or husband has died in a fatal crash! I refer to that as TOP class security. LNN

      Erna - 2012-12-07 22:40

      You're right Lenox and we would all accept that but still IDing them?

  • karl.vanrooyen - 2012-12-07 21:24

    Sandf bunch of 3rd class heavily armed SERCURITY .that's all

      zapadela.tistarocha - 2012-12-08 09:02

      Nice 1 Arch..............On the money mate.

  • TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-12-07 22:26

    They are quite correct in their reply. Next of kin must be notified first. Identity of the deceased must be beyond doubt.

  • allan.rosenberg.752 - 2012-12-07 22:51

    It's common practice that all people are recorded in a flight log book before boarding any SANDF planes so what's the hold up. Are they trying to cover up another botched irregularity???

      piet.hannibol - 2012-12-10 08:09

      Yep it's called a manifest... Though about that one myself. Any survivors? No...... Ok check the manifest - all those people are dead.

  • samacoba - 2012-12-08 00:37

    Dear SANDF, I have come across a method you can use to id the souls aboard the plane, we should get a list of all enlisted soldiers who are active so that we can do a roll call,from there if the 6 doesnt respond present then from that we can safely deduce that they were on the flyt....good luck id'ing the 5 passengers,havnt thought that far ahead. PS:Please talk to SAA,they have a book or something that they use to record the souls on board a plane,maybe that will quicken the process next time...

      archibald.homwe - 2012-12-08 09:10

      When an aircraft is involved in an accident the bodies are usually in a bad state. especially where fire is involved. Also during a flight people stand up and change seats or even just to stretch. At the time of an accident it is difficult to confirm who was sitting where and bodies might even be thrown hundreds of meters away. They do have a list of names so the first thing they do is much the number of bodies with that on the list. Then they then identify the obvious deaths ie found with Ids and documents confirming who they were. Then they have to do test on the remaining victims. Once they have confirmed beyond doubt who you was killed and the body, they then OFFICIALLY inform the next of kin. ALSO public identification of serving military and serving personnel can be a problem because of the security implications. Consider a soldier had been working on a sensitive matter in sensitive part of the world and was working together with a partner and they did not identify themselves as military officers. One of them leaves and goes back to South Africa and dies in a crash. His face is splatted all over the media what do you think will happen to his partner who is alone in Kabul?

  • Thebe Melesi - 2012-12-08 02:49

    Yzterday da SABC publishd da namez of ppl on bord which clearli meanz thy we're identifyt is NEws24 behind or wat

  • nico.eksteen.7 - 2012-12-08 03:48

    Replacing the engines, installing a few new instruments and painting the fuselage and wings with cheery new colours does not make a 70 year old plane new Mr. Dlamini.

      Ditaba Mateba - 2012-12-08 09:15

      I agree cosmetic surgery does not mean a 70 year old will be a new born Mr Dlamini

      flysouth - 2012-12-08 11:40

      If the structure of the aircraft is sound it certainly can be rebuilt to 'as new' condition and many aircraft are so rebuilt all over the world, all the time. I have done precisely that with several light aircraft. There is nothing mystical here - it is simply a collection of metal and other components like any other machine and just as it was originally assembled by human hands, so it can be disassembled and reassembled ad infinitum, as long as the skills are present!

  • charles.maputla - 2012-12-08 05:14

    Heart breaking and embarrassing @ the same time. Yet another political game with people's lives. Sharpville via Boipatong to Marikana, Western cape and now Drakensburg? What next Mangaung? Aowa man!

  • lesego.baloyi.14 - 2012-12-17 18:06

    Can somebody from sandf come with de truth what exaclty wat happened to those pple who died from the aircraft coz we r tired of waiting

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