Eleven Dead As Military Plane Crashes In South Africa.. Rumours link Nelson Mandela Medical team

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A  Military Aircraft has crashed in South Africa killing all the eleven people on Board.

There are speculations that the crash happened as the plane departed Pretoria for a mission in an area close to Former President Mandela’s village.

Media speculation claimed the passengers of the Military craft were medical teams on a routine mission to treat former President Mandela in his village.

There were six crew members and five passengers on board the military plane.

The Aircraft crashed in a mountain range, according to officials and there were indications that there were no any survivors.

The Douglas C-47TP Dakota, a twin-propeller aircraft, had taken off from Pretoria’s Waterkloof Air Force Base on Wednesday morning, said Brig. Gen. Xolani Mabanga, a military spokesman. The aircraft met bad weather in flight and failed to make its 10 a.m. landing.

On Thursday morning, soldiers found the wreckage of the airplane in the Drakensberg mountains near Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal province, some 340 kilometers (210 miles) southeast of the air base, Mabanga said. The Drakensberg, which in the local Afrikaans language means Dragon Mountains, has the highest peaks in South Africa, reaching to a height of about 3,400 meters (11,400 feet).

Mabanga said soldiers had been sent to the scene to look for survivors. Mabanga said he did not know what the mission of the aircraft was. Its destination was Mthatha in the country’s Eastern Cape. Siphiwe Dlamini, a Defense Ministry spokesman, declined to comment Thursday morning.

Mthatha is about 30 kilometers (17 miles) north of Qunu, the village where Mandela now lives after retiring from public life. South Africa’s military remains largely responsible for the former president’s medical care. However, military officials declined to say whether those on board had any part in caring for Mandela.

In November, another South African military flight crash landed at Mthatha, sending several people to the hospital with injuries.

Mandela, 94, was imprisoned for nearly three decades for his fight against apartheid before becoming the nation’s president in the country’s first fully democratic vote in 1994.
Government source said the names of the dead victims will be announced as soon as all their next of kins have been informed

Addition: AP