Johannesburg: Serious questions are
being raised about the security arrangements for South African
President Jacob Zuma after unidentified luggage ended up on
two of his recent flights, including one to India.
The Afrikaans daily Beeld said it also happened on an
earlier flight by Zuma to France. The daily said that there
were concerns about bags which were left on the plane as Zuma
and his entourage went about their engagements in India during
the first week of June.
The captain of the air force plane used by Zuma for
official travel had reportedly asked passengers to identify
their luggage, after which a few unidentified bags remained
Further investigation revealed that they apparently
belonged to an advance team which was already in India to
ensure security measures.
There was no explanation as to why this baggage was
on Zuma`s flight, the daily said, adding that the baggage on
the return flight by the Zuma entourage was also too heavy
when it was loaded on the plane.
Although Defence Ministry Spokesman Siphiwe Dlamini
said he had not had any official report on the incident, Beeld
reported that an extensive investigation is under way to
address the matter amid concerns that illegal or unsafe goods
could easily be taken out of South Africa in this manner.
The spokesman on defence matters in the opposition
Democratic Alliance, David Maynier, said he would request a
special meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence to
consider this and other aspects relating to the flights for
VIPs undertaken by the Air Force.