No plane stolen in North West, says Transport MEC
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No plane had been stolen in North West, Community Safety and Transport Management MEC Sello Lehari said on Wednesday.
This followed social media posts suggesting that a plane was stolen in the North West.
“Two trucks intercepted at the Mahikeng Airport they were found with dismembered parts of two aeroplanes. What a busy day it was,” read one comment on Twitter.
“North West department of community safety and transport management would like to categorically state that no public property has been stolen,” Lehari said.
“On Tuesday evening, three trucks were stopped by the police just outside Mahikeng CBD. The trucks, which were from GD Montshioa Airport in Mmabatho, were searched and found to have loaded scrap metals from the dismantled parts of aircrafts,” he said.
“The said cargo belonging to Mr Anton Grungleigh was destined for Emalahleni in Mpumalanga. Mr Grungleigh has for many years been operating Aircraft Maintenance Organisation at the airport.”
He said the search by the police had been misconstrued by some members of the community to be theft and posted on social media.
He appealed to members of the community to be responsible when sharing social media posts and to not fabricate stories.
“Social media is a wonderful tool which gives ordinary people a voice but should be used responsibly. If anyone has any question on anything about the department, feel free to engage us directly. No plane has been stolen,” he said.
The company owning the aircraft has decided to relocate from Mafikeng and thus transported the properties in trucks from the airport.
According to the director of Airport Management, Olebogeng Baikgaki, none of the consignment in the truck stopped by the police belonged to the department.
“The department of community safety and transport management, as the airport authority, would like to confirm that such an aircraft does not belong to the government, but was at the airport for repairs. Aircraft Maintenance Organisation was renting space at the airport and has now decided to relocate,” he said.