President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent condolences after an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed, killing all 157 people on board. File picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his great sadness and sent condolences after an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed, killing all 157 people on board. 

The Boeing 737 MAX airplane  crashed six minutes after taking off from Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, according to  a statement from Ethiopian Airlines. The plane carrying 149 passengers and 8 crew members  was expected to arrive in Nairobi but  crashed  at Bishoftu, Ethiopia .

"President Ramaphosa said the thoughts of the South African people are with the sisterly people of all the affected countries, especially the sisterly people of Ethiopia and Kenya," the Presidency said. 

"The South African diplomatic missions in Addis Ababa and Nairobi have been directed to work with the airline and ascertain whether there were any passengers in the affected plane travelling on South African passports."

Opposition party Democratic Alliance also expressed sadness about the fatal crash.

"The DA extends our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of those who tragically lost their lives our thoughts and prayers are with them. We mourn with the people of Ethiopia and all those who have been affected by this tragedy," said  DA National Spokesperson  Refiloe Ntsekhe in a statement.
 
IOL