Standoff in Poland: Police ‘confiscate’ weapons from Ramaphosa

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s peace mission has not been without drama as members of his security staff along with a number of South African journalists are stuck in Poland.

According to several news reports, the flight, which left the country in the wee hours of Thursday, was flagged by aviation authorities after it failed to get clearance to fly over Italian airspace.

The journalists and security personnel had been travelling to accompany Ramaphosa, who met with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda, had taken his jet named Nkwazi. According to TimesLive, the journalists were told there were issues with the plane that was meant to transport them to Rzesouw. Several of the journalists on the plane have tweeted that they are still at the airport in Warsaw and it is unclear when they will actually be allowed to disembark.

Ramaphosa and his African counterparts, including Senegal, Zambia and Egypt, are meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky to help end the conflict, which has been ongoing since February 2022 when the Kremlin invaded its neighbour.

The fiasco surrounding the grounded plane President Cyril Ramaphosa is without some of his key security personnel while on an important international trip.

One journalist on board the plane said a Polish police vehicle has been keeping a close eye on the aircraft and that the situation had even led to a showdown between Ramaphosa’s security staff and authorities.

At some point, General Wally Rhoode, Ramaphosa’s Head of Security, and staff from the South African embassy in Poland were in discussion with Polish officials, but were still not allowed to leave.


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