Eskom spokesperson's brush with airport 'thief'

AUGUST 8, 2015

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe has described a close brush with a suspected thief at the OR Tambo International Airport. 

He told News24 that he was waiting to pass through a security check before boarding a flight to Cape Town on Thursday when a man approached him and offered to help get him to the front of the queue. 

"There were about 20 people ahead of me in the queue. It was around 17:00, when he approached me."

Phasiwe said he initially thought the man was an airport official. 

"He said to me, 'I can take you to the front of the queue'. I was thinking something was amiss. He took my tickets [and boarding pass] and said he wanted to see what time I was boarding, but then a security guard spotted him, and he took off."

Luckily the man dropped Phasiwe's boarding pass, but he appeared to out-run the guard. 

"He went through a door and before I knew it he was on the other side [of the security checkpoint]."

Phasiwe said the guard did not call for back-up nor pursue the man further.  

He said a frequent flyer at the airport told him things like this "happen regularly" and that thieves prey on travellers who are late or carrying a lot of luggage. They allegedly offer to help, before running away with people's luggage. 

"My laptop could have been stolen," Phasiwe said.

Airports Company SA spokesperson Collin Naidoo said vagrants often wandered around the airport. 

"I'm sure [the suspected thief] would have been caught by security. He can't go anywhere, and he can't board any flights."


- News24 Wire