A South African Air Force (SAAF) C-130BZ aircraft, carrying 60 SANDF personnel, crash landed at Goma airport in the Democratic Republic of Congo this afternoon. Initial reports suggest there are no casualties, however, there appears to be little progress on releasing the details surrounding the crash.
We can confirm that this aircraft is the only serviceable C-130 in the entire defence force, and therefore it is vital to ascertain the damage caused, and the cause of the crash. The aircraft has strategic importance for SANDF in both land and maritime support, and is the same aircraft that was misused to transport home Cuban engineers last month. It is regrettable that our only serviceable C-130 was not rather used for the protection of South Africans.
In this light I call on the Minister of Defence, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, to urgently make a public statement on:
- The causes of this crash landing;
- Confirmation that there are no causalities; and
- The extent of the damage to the aircraft in question.
Urgency is required in matters that involve our defence force, and therefore the Minister must take the nation into her confidence and come clean on the details of this crash landing as soon as possible. The DA will leave no stone unturned in getting to the truth in this matter.