Man who tried to cheat no-fly rule with charter flight is deported

02 April 2020 - 11:29
By TimesLIVE
Flights have been grounded during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Image: Gallo Images / Beeld / Deaan Vivier Flights have been grounded during the Covid-19 lockdown.

A South African man of Italian descent tried to fly into the country via Harare – but was bust and deported after police were alerted.

Transport ministry spokesperson Ayanda Allie Paine said he was intercepted about 12.30pm on Wednesday.

“A private charter aircraft landed at OR Tambo International Airport from Harare, Zimbabwe, with one passenger on board. The flight was not cleared by the department of transport as required in terms of the current protocols in force during the lockdown. The passenger and the crew were held at the airport ... ”

On being informed he would not be allowed to enter the country, “the passenger initially refused to leave”.

After police were called in to intervene, the flight left SA airspace at 7.50pm, returning to Harare.

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has called for a full investigation into the incident.