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Dakota crash inquiry to soon begin

The SANDF says a board of inquiry is ready to start its investigation into the deadly Dakota crash.

A SAAF Dakota C47 plane Picture: DC-3.co.za/Jens Frischmuth

PRETORIA - While investigators wrap-up their work in the Drakensburg, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) says a board of inquiry is ready to start its investigation into the deadly Dakota crash.

Eleven people, including six of the country's airforce members, died when the plane travelling from Pretoria to the Eastern Cape crashed in poor weather conditions on Wednesday.

The plane left the Waterkloof Air Force Base at 7.45am en route to Mthatha Airport with a relief team that was reportedly due to replace security persons guarding the airport.

It is understood a search operation was launched when the Dakota plane did not reach Mthatha.

Military investigators have made daily helicopter trips to the crash site located high in the berg - near Giant's Castle.

SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said debris could be seen across the small crash site.

It remains unclear why the crew attempted to fly the aircraft over the mountains in poor weather conditions.

President Jacob Zuma has conveyed his condolences to the families of the victims.