SAA resumes Zim flights, what affected travellers need to know

Hoas

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Cape Town - South African Airway Sunday morning flights are set to resume, following the grounding of flights between South Africa and Zimbabwe on Friday and Saturday due to Foreign Operating Permit non-compliance

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali confirmed to Traveller24 that flight SA025 which was grounded on Saturday, 19 August will now depart Harare at 10:00 on Sunday, 20 August.

Tlali added that SA022 would be the first flight from Johannesburg to Harare on Sunday, expected to depart at 10:45.

SEE: SAA suspends all Saturday flights between SA and Zimbabwe

What to do if you've been affected:
SAA says assistance will be provided to all ticketed passengers holding South African Airway’s Ticket (only) affected by the flight cancellations on Saturday, 19 August via any SAA Call Centre, City Travel Office or dedicated Travel Agent with the following conditions. Check the SAA website for more details.

Rebooking Conditions applicable:

- Rebook onto another South African Airways flight for a later date at no extra charge and subject to availability of the same booking class. Provided the same ticket is used.

- Change of cabin will not be permitted

- This policy is applicable to South African Airways flights only, issued on SA (083) ticket stock and not on separate tickets of other airlines

- Separate ticket purchases on other airline will not be supported for a refund

-Tickets must be re-issued on or before Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Contact details:

South African Airways Call Centre and City Office Contact details South Africa
- Johannesburg Call Centre | 27 (0) 11 978 1111 or 0861 606 606

Zimbabwe
- Harare City Office | 26 3 8677 702 702

- Harare Airport International Airport | 26 3 8677 702 702

- Victoria Falls International Airport |26 3 8677 702 702

SEE: What to do when your flight gets cancelled

The cancellations are centred on non-compliance with both airline operators needing to be in possession of a Foreign Operator’s Permit in order to conduct operations into South Africa or Zimbabwe. The SACAA says a copy of the Foreign Operator’s Permit, together with other documents, must be on-board an aircraft at all times, and made available for inspection on request by the relevant authorities.

The airline is currently in flight recovery mode, after all SAA flights out of Zimbabwe were cancelled on Saturday.

Flights affected from Johannesburg to Harare on Saturday were SA 022, SA 028 and SA 024. The flights affected from Harare to Johannesburg are SA 025, SA 023 and SA 029.

This followed the grounding of Air Zimbabwe flights at OR Tambo in Johannesburg on Friday 18 August and SAA flights on Saturday 19 August in Harare, Zimbabwe.

SEE: UPDATE: More SAA flights prevented from leaving Zim in cross-border compliance issue

Following an emergency meeting between SA’s department of transport and aviation authorities it was confirmed that both South African Air Ways and Air Zimbabwe had had to submit the necessary compliance documents in order to resume flights - which both airlines scrambled to do over the weekend.

On Saturday Minister of Transport Joseph Maswanganyi confirmed that both SAA and Zimbabwe Air had submitted the documents required for permit approval.

‘SAA issue was a co-incidence’

From the South African side, the SAA issue was a co-incidence and had nothing to do with the restriction of the Air Zimbabwe aircraft by the SACAA, the statement said.

In the statement Maswanganyi apologised for the inconveniences that might have been caused to the passengers of both carriers.

“Aviation safety and security are paramount and agencies such as SACAA mandated to ensure compliance with the applicable regulations are discharging their mandate without any fear or favour.”

Red alert for Grace Mugabe

Air Zimbabwe was blacklisted by the UK Aviation Authority in May this year due to safety concerns.

SEE: EU Air Safety Blacklist: Mozambique and Benin airlines cleared as Zimbabwe carrier banned

Added to this, Robert Mugabe arrived in a similar aircraft via Waterkloof Airbase- but Mugabe’s personal airplane, operated by Air Zimbabwe, was not affected by the cancellations due to non-compliance.

A "red-alert" has been issued by police in case Grace Mugabe attempts to cross the South African border after she allegedly assaulted a 20-year-old model in a Sandton Hotel on Sunday - which is further fuelling diplomatic tensions between the two countries - Read News24's latest report here.

Irrespective of the compliance permits now being met some 24 to 48 hours later - business and leisure tourism between the two countries has been affected with the overall cost and losses yet to be determined. Passengers are being advised to keep in touch with their respective airlines and make alternative arrangements as necessary.



Source: http://www.traveller24.com/News/Flights/update-saa-flights-from-zim-set-to-resume-20170820
 

BRICKBURN

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It was also, just a coincidence :ROFLMAO: that flights resume shortly after Grace Mugabe was allowed to leave RSA after being given diplomatic status and escaping prosecution for the alleged assault.
 

cagkt3

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It was also, just a coincidence :ROFLMAO: that flights resume shortly after Grace Mugabe was allowed to leave RSA after being given diplomatic status and escaping prosecution for the alleged assault.
@BRICKBURN I don't think that it was a coinciden....oh, I see what you did there...:D
 

CAustin

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I wonder how many people were stuck because of this simple minded bullshit?
How does a person entry a country without diplomatic portfolio but receive the same after a crime has been committed?
Wonder what would have happened to the young woman had she slapped the hell out of Grace M up in Zim??
 

Hank2211

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Auntie Grace needs to be careful. Lots of flights from Sim to anywhere go through South Africa, and just because she was allowed to leave this time, doesn't mean they won't get her in the future. It seems lots of people believed the granting of immunity was insupportable under South African law, which is why she was hustled out of the country before the decision could be tested in the courts. If she comes back, and someone grabs her, well, it might just get tested.

It is this kind of thing which destroys people's faith in a justice system.
 

Royal27

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Auntie Grace needs to be careful. Lots of flights from Sim to anywhere go through South Africa, and just because she was allowed to leave this time, doesn't mean they won't get her in the future. It seems lots of people believed the granting of immunity was insupportable under South African law, which is why she was hustled out of the country before the decision could be tested in the courts. If she comes back, and someone grabs her, well, it might just get tested.

It is this kind of thing which destroys people's faith in a justice system.


http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/grace-mugabe-diplomatic-immunity-isnt-an-out-of-jail-ticket/

0 August 22, 2017 5:04 PM


Grace Mugabe, the wife of President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, is accused ofassaulting a young woman while on a visit to South Africa. A week after the incident in a hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg’s upmarket central business district, a South African government minister announced that she had been granted diplomatic immunity. She has subsequently returned to Zimbabwe without any attempt by the South African Police Service to arrest her.

Source: Grace Mugabe: diplomatic immunity isn’t an ‘out of jail’ ticket | News24 2017-08-22



The incident has sparked a furious debate about whether she should have been granted immunity, and what this means for the victim of the alleged assault.

At the time of the alleged assault Grace Mugabe was on a private, not official, visit to South Africa. She wasn’tgranted immunity before her visit and it’s not clear on what basis she’s now been granted it. Normally diplomatic immunity is granted to an individual envoy by prior agreement, or by the Minister of International Relations if it is in the interests of a country.

Since it is conceivable that Grace Mugabe might visit South Africa again in future it’s worth reviewing the rules, considerations and implications of diplomatic immunity.

Rules governing diplomatic immunity
Grace Mugabe was neither a visiting head of state or government, nor a diplomat representing her country – both of which would have qualified her for diplomatic immunity.

There is no basis in customary, conventional international law or domestic law for the spouse of a head of state to claim – as a right or entitlement – some form of immunity when visiting a foreign state.

A foreign state – in this case South Africa – can, of course, grant immunity. But there’s a legal framework that governs this. In her case, as the spouse of a foreign head of state, she could be granted immunity from the criminal and civil jurisdiction of the courts in South Africa if, for instance, she was on a visit as an envoy of her country to attend an international conference, or if she was accompanying her husband on an official visit. The fact that she happens to be an important person isn’t a good enough criterium.

In other words, it’s not status that serves as a basis for granting immunity. Rather, it’s the nature of the person’s visit.

South Africa’s Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act gives the minister of International Relations and Cooperation the power to grant immunity to foreign visitors who represent their countries on official business. The act sets out how this must be done. If there’s no prior agreement that already covers the visit, a notice must be published in the Government Gazette.

What’s clear is that the spouses of foreign heads of states, members of foreign royal families, international celebrities and the like, can’t be granted immunity on a whim. There are laws, protocols, and procedures to be followed.

Formalities aside, it’s also important to keep in mind the underlying rationale of diplomatic immunity in international law and international relations. Diplomatic immunity is a principle with ancient roots and forms an integral part of international relations. At the heart of it is the idea that diplomats – or others representing their countries or international organisations – must be able to pursue their official duties free from interference by the host state.

Foreign envoys who are granted immunity therefore enjoy immunity from the criminal and civil jurisdiction of the courts of the host country.

What about justice for the victim?
Diplomatic immunity can indeed be seen as a shield against accountability for criminal conduct or civil obligations. The abuse of diplomatic immunity can therefore lead to impunity.

If a person who enjoys diplomatic immunity is accused of a crime, and their immunity isn’t waived, it’s normal practice for the host country to declare the person to be persona non grata. They are then expected to leave the country. But that also means there is no justice for the victim of the crime.

Nevertheless it’s important to remember that the immunity initially granted to the diplomat or envoy does not attach to that person in his or her personal capacity. It would have to have been granted in one or other other official capacity.

The right to institute a prosecution for most crimes (including assault) lapses only after 20 years. There are exceptions. This right never lapses in the case of serious offences such as murder, rape, robbery with aggravated circumstances, and the atrocity crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

It’s conceivable that a person who once enjoyed diplomatic immunity, but who no longer benefits from it, will face justice at some future date. This assumes that they find themselves back in the country in which the alleged crime took place.

It would be hard to justify continued immunity for someone accused of a crime given that criminal conduct, including assault, is not normally associated with official business between two sovereign states.

That’s not to say that the victim can easily get justice. Diplomatic immunity conferred on visiting envoys and representatives means immunity from prosecution and civil action. This means that a victim will be frustrated in their quest for justice in the courts.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Taking into account the rules around the prescription of the right to institute prosecution of crime, and the underlying rationale of diplomatic immunity as a tool to facilitate official political and commercial relations between sovereign states, it can be argued that diplomatic immunity isn’t the impenetrable shield of impunity imagined by some.

Gerhard Kemp is Professor of Criminal Law and International Criminal Law at Stellenbosch University.








 

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