Mango Airlines / baggage theft: king shaka to ort

South Africa

Luggage Theft: Flight JE242; KZN to JHB at 06h15 - CAS 349/10/2017

My partner and I took a flight from KZN to JHB on 21st Oct at 06h15. We checked in 1 x red-orange medium sized Travelite bag with three padlocked compartments. When we reached the Gautrain Sandton (~08h30), we realised that only the main compartment lock was broken. We immediately checked the bag. Only my WD Elements external drive + cable was missing from the bag (the container the drive came in was still there, along with the money and headphones).

I then called OR Tambo (08h34; [protected]) and try to explain. I get shunted to the Mango airline and the call was dropped. I call back to ORT (08h36; [protected]) and the person gives me the number for Mango (08h44; [protected]) and I speak to Amogelo (?). She makes a note of the bag rather than the item, tells me that Mango does not reimburse, gives me a number (J13319) and tells me Mango will call me IF they have anything to say. And that the investigation will only start on Monday. I'd like to point out that this is a serious breach in security - if crime happens over the weekend and there is no one to attend to it until Monday... at this time my external drive would have been bought/sold at least ten times over! So pretty much there is nothing Mango can do.

I then call King Shaka International (09h14; [protected]) and they at least tried to assist by putting me through to the SAPS at the airport. Here, I spoke to Warrant Officer MR Pillay who tried to assist by taking down the description of the object. I called back around 2pm and he said that they checked lockers and entrances of the ground staff (because who else will know to take something so specific?). He said he also informed ORT. This lead no where. He advised me to open a case number at the police station as well and that they will continue searching.

At this time, my nearest police station was Linden (Johannesburg). I was "assisted" by Constable Matumba who first told me that I could not open the docket there because that was not the scene of the crime and that I needed to do it at ORT. Eventually the docket was opened and I only received the case number at 20h55 on 21 Oct via sms. This means any process that required this number (e.g. reporting the incident to Mango or ACSA etc) would only really be done ONCE THS NUMBER WAS GIVEN... the crime was committed around 06h15 and the docket was only opened at 20h55!

I understand that criminals are organised but the situation was made SO much worse by the appalling lack of organisation by the supposed 'safety and security' parties concerned - it is in fact, embarrassing! The complete lack of organisation on this side means that criminals get away. Instead people are eager to pass the buck from airline to airport and back again. Had action been taken sooner in a more coordinated fashion, there would at least have been a chance that something could be done. There is a real breach of security at airports when people can't manage their own staff and only take action TWO DAYS later! There are meant to be security cameras. There are meant to be staff checks. If ground staff (and it can only be people who are scanning the bags who knew exactly what and where) can so easily get away with something like a hard drive what does this mean for bigger crime organisations?

Oct 23, 2017

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