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Phahlane: No reason to doubt police’s competency following OR Tambo heist

The lieutenant general provided a briefing in Pretoria on the heist which took place at the airport on Tuesday night.

FILE: This file photo shows Khomotso Phahlane. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane says there is no reason to doubt the competency of the authorities responsible for securing OR Tambo International Airport.

The lieutenant general provided a briefing in Pretoria on the heist which took place at the airport on Tuesday night.

Robbers, dressed as police officers, held up security before fleeing the scene with foreign currency worth an estimated R20 million.

Two bogus police vehicles were recovered in Mamelodi East on Wednesday.

Phahlane is confident those responsible will be arrested.

“There is no reason why we should doubt the competency and capabilities of the authorities charged with the responsibility of securing the airports. This was a security breach and it will be dealt with. The perpetrators will certainly be brought to book.”

Phahlane says security will be intensified at the airport.

“We cannot take things for granted after what happened. It’s our resolve to review the situation and deal with gaps which manifest.”

The acting commissioner says South African Police Service officials will be among those questioned in connection with the brazen heist at the airport.

He says they’re casting their net wide to track down those responsible for the robbery.

“People will be interviewed and that will include members of the police service, people working for Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) – everyone that is of interest.”

At the same time, Acsa’s Bongani Maseko says security at the airport is continually assessed.

“We have various fora that meet and monitor various threats, and then we have appropriate responses. Every entity that has a role to play will continue to monitor activities and failures.”

The parties have committed to reviewing the current security arrangements.

ACSA ON SAFETY

Acsa says operators at the airport have a shared responsibility to ensure their cargo is secure.

The airport company’s Bongani Maseko says cargo operators are encouraged to have a security programme in place.

“It cannot solely be the responsibility of Acsa and the police to provide security.”

Maseko says companies are expected to vet their employees who may be responsible for leaking information about sensitive or valuable consignments.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter & Masechaba )

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