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Govt to discuss Poland grounding of SAA plane

todayJune 22, 2023 38

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Minister in the presidency, Khumbudzho Ntshavheni has confirmed that government will be looking into the SAA charter plane, which was grounded in Poland.
A number of journalists and members of the president’s security detail were barred from disembarking  from an aircraft for 26 hours over alleged undeclared dangerous goods on board.
The team was accompanying President Cyril Ramaphosa to Russia and Ukraine on a peace mission.
Ramaphosa together with several African heads of state descended on the warring countries in a bid to bring peace to the 16-month long conflict.
Ntshavheni has labelled the incident as an unfortunate, adding that the South African government had followed all protocols before boarding the flight to Ukraine.
She has clarified that there were no dangerous goods on the plane.
“In terms of what you deem dangerous goods, there were no dangerous goods, there were weapons that form as protection of the president,” says Ntshavheni.
The minister says through Dirco and the police department measures will be taken to ascertain what the problem was with the Polish government.
“They will then say what are the things that were not done right or have gone wrong, but where have we been offended as a country in terms of diplomatic protocols and we will then take the necessary channels,” she adds.
Briefing the media on Cabinet’s meeting on Wednesday, Ntshavheni announced that further engagements on the Africa Peace Mission will be held at the Africa Union-Russia Summit expected to be held in July.
 
“Cabinet noted that both the Russian and Ukrainian presidents had welcomed the Africa peace initiative and committed to further engagements with African leaders on matters raised towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict”.
 
Ramaphosa presented a 10-point plan which includes settling the conflict through negotiations and diplomatic means.
 
The plan also included calls for a de-escalation of fighting and for negotiations to commence with urgency,  for the release of prisoners of war and return of children, for greater humanitarian support and for reconstruction efforts to be prioritised.

Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza

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