Article by: Dumisane Dube
Sunday marked the 2nd anniversary of the unfortunate and tragic accident of Cessna ZS-CAR Aircraft accident that claimed the lives of Captain Thabiso Tolo, First Officer Tebogo Lekalakala and and Flight Inspector Gugu Mnguni.
It was reported that the initial investigation was conducted by the Accident and Incident Investigation Division (AIID), a functionally independent unit reporting to the Minister of transport, but operationally attached to the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA).
The preliminary report was released on 23 January 2020.
Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula, said he had engagements with the families, who expressed discomfort with the proximity of the AIID to SACAA and expressed preference for an independent investigation.
“I then issued an order to this effect. We then appointed the Ethiopian Accident Investigation Bureau, who undertook the independent investigation,” he said.
According to the Minister, the report was also uploaded on the website of the SACAA on the same day as required by Annex 13 of the Chicago Convention.
“I extended my apologies to the families for the delay in finalising the report, which process was impacted on by the COVID-19 restrictions. Death of any kind brings sorrow, anguish and unanswered questions and many of us battle to find closure as those we lost are forever lingering in our memories,” said Mbalula.
In terms of Annex 13 of the Chicago Convention, the sole purpose of the investigation is the prevention of accidents and not to apportion blame or liability.
“I extend my appreciation to the Ethiopian Minister of Transport and Logistics, Ms Dagmawit Moges, for graciously accepting our request for the Ethiopian Accident Investigation Bureau to conduct an independent investigation under challenging COVID-19 conditions,” added the Transport Minister.
With the final report now released by the AIID, other parties may choose to appeal to the Minister and have 60 days from the date of the report to do so.
For more updates visit our website and remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.