Officials in dark over 'air rage MP'
The department of international relations was in the dark last night over an alleged incident involving a drunk MP who tried to open an aeroplane door mid-flight between Johannesburg and Mumbai, India.
Department spokesman Clayson Monyela referred all queries to South Africa Airways, the airline carrier on which the incident reportedly happened on the late Saturday night flight outbound to India.
The scandal caught media attention after a twitter message was posted by DA MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard.
"Just heard an SA MP arrested on the flight JHB to Mumbai last night - arrival time 24h00. Apparently the MP tried to open the door in flight," tweeted Kohler-Barnard.
This was later confirmed by the party's constituency chief in Durban who first reported the incident.
Kim Coward said at the airport he had ''heard'' that an MP, identity unknown, had been inebriated on board, to such an extent that he tried to open the door while the plane was in the air.
"The flight was delayed quite a lot because a South African MP was quite drunk and there was an altercation and he tried to open the door in-flight," said Coward.
Late last night, SAA confirmed an "incident" involving a disruptive passenger had taken place on board the SA 284 flight.
SAA's head of in-flight services department, Martin Kemp, said procedure had been followed, but was cryptic with the details, referring only to the standard protocols in place for incidents of such a nature.
He said should an incident occur and the passenger concerned not heed a warning, then the captain would order that the person be restrained. The passenger might be arrested on landing.