We are just embarrassed! says Malema on crime at OR Tambo

EFF leader Julius Malema is pictured during a press briefing in Johannesburg, 08 June 2017, on corruption att Transnet. Picture: Refilwe Modise

EFF leader Julius Malema is pictured during a press briefing in Johannesburg, 08 June 2017, on corruption att Transnet. Picture: Refilwe Modise

The EFF leader has now made a U-turn and says after complaining about crime at OR Tambo, nothing has been done about it.

EFF leader Julius Malema has taken to Twitter to complain about the crime that has gripped the country, particularly at the OR Tambo International Airport.

Last month, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) Customs intercepted a consignment of rhino horn worth R1.7 million at the airport, days after travellers with 7kg rhino horn were bust.

No arrests were reported.

In May, customs officials confiscated 13kg of cocaine worth an estimated street value of R3.6 million in two separate incidents at the airport.

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) said in a statement that in both cases, on May 7 and 8, the drugs were found after customs officials stopped and engaged passengers from incoming flights from South America.

Again in May, a motorist was shot dead by a brazen group of criminals while driving towards the airport. Preliminary reports indicated that the driver of the Hyundai H1 was transporting a group of six business people from Johannesburg to the airport, and en route, at least one vehicle attempted to flag them down.

Earlier this year, Sars customs officials confiscated 271kg of cocaine, worth an estimated street value of R78 million, at the airport.

It marked the biggest ever cocaine bust by customs officials in South Africa. The narcotics, en route from Sao Paulo, in Brazil, to Nairobi, in Kenya, were found in a cargo warehouse during routine operations.

With all these criminal activities, the EFF leader has expressed concern and questioned whether SAPS was doing anything to prevent it. He said it was embarrassing that the airport had become a playground for criminals.

Malema said his party had complained about the criminal activities, “but nothing is happening”.

However, management of the airport on Tuesday said it was working through the public safety and security staff to identify alleged “airport spotters”.

The so-called airport spotters are believed to alert the criminals behind the follow-home robberies.

On Sunday, magazine and actuality programme Carte Blanche, lifted the lid on the alleged “airport spotters”, speaking to one who described how the insiders were spread across various people working in different roles at the airport and identified potential victims.

After information about alleged “airport spotters” came to light, the OR Tambo International Airport said in a statement issued on Tuesday it was “highly supportive” of the SAPS’ crime prevention plan, which they said was, “in part, geared to identifying the alleged spotters”.

Spokesperson for the airport Leigh Gunkel-Keuler said they would continue to work with SAPS on various measures to identify the spotters and criminals and that the airport’s executive would continue to work with various stakeholders within the travel and tourism sector so as to remain engaged on the issue of crime.

Though some of his followers agreed with him, some said he was contradicting himself after, in a series of tweets, praising Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, saying he was a “reliable activist”.

Malema said at the time that Mbalula was doing a great job in addressing crime in the country.

Read more:

Mbalula is a reliable activist, says Malema

– Additional reporting by ANA

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