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Business hijack-joker found not guilty

by Staff Reporter
on 10 Oct 2007
The Bellville Website
The Bellville Website

A man who joked about hijacking a plane while on board the flight, was found not guilty of jeopardising the safety of the passengers and the aircraft.

Johannesburg entrepreneur, Mncedisi Eric Maluleka, who joked to a stewardess about hijacking the aircraft, appeared before the Bellvile Magistrates Court on tuesday, when he was found not guilty.

Shortly before takeoff, Maluleka remarked to senior flight attendant, Paul Dlamini, the he and a friend planned to hijack the flight. Dlamini then warned Maluleka that he could land in serious trouble.

Though the attendants were aware that the comment was a joke, protocol states that the Flight Commander should be informed of such incidents. Dlamini informed the Flight Commander of the incident, but only once the aircraft had taken off and reached an altitude of 15 000 feet.

The pilot turned the plane around and headed back to Cape Town so that the incident could be dealt with on the ground. Maluleka was then arrested and charged.

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