Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Magosi plays down security threat on OK 1

BY THOBO MOTLHOKA

Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS), Brigadier Peter Magosi, has allayed any security fears following President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s announcement that the Presidential Jet failed to start.

Masisi was due to return home from the Botswana ÔÇôZimbabwe Bi-National Commission (BNC) when his Bombardier Global Express experienced problems forcing him to find an alternative aircraft.

“I had wanted to address a press conference yesterday but we got delayed when the OK1 experienced a technical problem, and would not start so we had to use another flight,” Masisi said on Friday.

But the DISS Director General Magosi has told Sunday Standard it was a mere glitch caused by the internal power unit failure.

“We tried to use thier (Zimbabwe) ground power unit but there was not enough power to start the jet so we had to switch aircrafts because we were running late for a meeting.”

Earlier in the week there was almost a fatal accident involving a Botswana Defense Force (BDF) military chopper following President Masisi’s handover of a Debswana sponsored borehole at Machana settlement just outside Jwaneng . Fortunately the President and First Lady Neo Masisi had just taken off in another BDF chopper when the other chopper which had parked next to the President’s, with two BDF officers on board, had trouble taking off and almost crashed into the nearby motor vehicles. 

A Botswana Defence Force CASA 212 aircraft crashed in 2017 after leaving Thebephatshwa Air Base for Gaborone killing three people. Unconfirmed reports suggested the plane had been arranged to transport then Vice President Masisi who apparently changed his mind following an intelligence tip-off. BDF is the main transporter for the President on domestic trips.

The Bombardier Global Express is a class of ultra long range corporate jets, and competes against the Gulfstream V, Boeing 737 BBJ and Airbus A319CJ .Designed to fly long distances at high speed, the Global Express’ range is such that it can fly between any two points on the globe and need only one refueling stop. It can fly nonstop between intercontinental destinations.

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