Johannesburg - Residents of Sandton and those visiting the area in the past three days as the country hosts the 15th BRICS Summit have been seeing and hearing the sounds of fighter jets.
Two fighter jets are regularly seen and heard making a loud noise flying over the Sandton Convention Centre.
At this stage, no official authority is prepared to give The Star official comment or details on the purpose of the fighter jets flying over the area at short intervals.
Already, there is a high presence of law enforcement agencies in and around the venue, where over 50 heads of state from across the globe are gathering for the summit, which ends today.
Morena Mokoena, an employee in one of the retail shops in Sandton City, said at first, after hearing the noise from the jets, he thought there was an attack because he is not used to the sound.
“I am aware that there is currently a BRICS summit taking place just outside my workplace, but the first time I heard the loud, unusual sound, I could not help but think there was some kind of an attack. During my lunch break while outside, I heard the sound. I looked up and spotted not one but two fighter jets,” said Mokoena.
Some citizens took to social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) to express their thoughts towards the fighter jets.
Not everyday you see a fighter jet flying over Sandton. Oh wait, this is the third day in a row. pic.twitter.com/RX3Eg3lDl4— Mags Heystek (@za_mags) August 24, 2023
X user Bo Mbinwane wrote: “SANDF drama. Every ten minutes fly pass!!! What fighter jets from which country are about to send missiles to Sandton? Drama. What intelligence product is making SAAF panic like this? Who is about to have an air assault in Sandton. So much money is being wasted flying Swedish jets!”
Another user, Mags Heystek, wrote: “Not everyday you see a fighter jet flying over Sandton. Oh wait, this is the third day in a row.”
Other citizens went as far as criticising the government for wasting money on these meticulous machines; however, it is not clear whether they are from South Africa or not.
“Why are these fighter jets just flying around the Sandton skies? How much does it cost to keep them in the air? All this window dressing surely comes with a huge price tag,” said Bev Thrilla.
If it happens that the jets might belong to the SANDF, it would be strange because, recently, it was reported that SANDF pilots are grounded due to non-airworthy aircraft and have instead been doing administration work while the crisis persists.
SANDF spokesperson General Andries Mahapa was reached for comment; however at the time of publishing there was no response.