Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
25 Jul 2017
1:35 pm

First SAPS officers, personnel suspended at OR Tambo

Citizen Reporter

The seven police officers were suspended after they were linked to several crimes at the airport.

Picture: Thinkstock

Seven police officers, 34 information desk clerks and eight Gauteng tourism officials have been suspended at OR Tambo International Airport, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Friday.

The seven police officers were suspended after they were linked to several crimes at the airport, Mbalula said at a press briefing at the airport regarding the upgrading of security, following months of hijackings, thefts and murders, Kempton Express reported.

At the media briefing Mbalula, together with the ministers of state security, transport and executive mayor Mzwandile Masina, unveiled the anticipated integrated multidisciplinary tactical security plan.

Mbalula applauded all government law enforcement agencies, as well as Bongiwe Pityi (general manager of the airport) for delivering the integrated plan as per the set deadline.

Pityi said: “This security plan is a first of its kind for the airport. I must applaud the bold efforts by the minister of police together with the contributions made by all relevant law enforcement agencies, in crafting a safety and security plan which seeks to address our various challenges pertaining to crime and corruption at the airport.”

This plan is built on the many contributions made over the past 10 days by the police, state security, crime intelligence and airport management. The Departments of Home affairs, Justice and Transport have also endorsed this plan.

Success will be determined by the need to vet all employees based at the airport effectively, as well as lifestyle audits, which will need to be performed on law enforcement agencies deployed at the airport.

Given the volume of people, this will be done over a period of time. Mbalula added that effective deployment and visibility of South African Police Service members at strategic, vulnerable areas of the airport over a sustained period of time was key.

“We will rotate law enforcement personnel on a consistent basis. We cannot have a situation where we have law enforcement members being based at the airport over a number of years,” commented Mbalula.

“We have committed to turning the crime situation around at the airport,” commented Minister David Mahlobo, Minister for State Security.

South Africans and visitors to the country were advised to plan their trips to and from the airport well in advance of their scheduled flight time, given the heightened security measures which will be implemented both at the airport and on roadways leading to the airport.

Pityi added, “We apologise for any inconvenience which may be caused in future. We are currently working on a process of looking at how to effectively limit access to our frontal roads at the airport. The roadway studies are currently underway at the airport to see how best this can be achieved.

“Airport management will over the next few weeks communicate the possible impact this may have on passengers and visitors travelling to and from the airport.”

Caxton News Service

For more news your way, follow The Citizen on Facebook and Twitter