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Wed 8 March 2017

Johannesburg, 08 March 2017 – The following is an outline of the sequence of events at O. R. Tambo International Airport on Tuesday evening:

At 19h23, a vehicle (a bakkie) with what appeared to be police markings pulled up at a restricted access gate, North Gate 1. It was closely followed by a white Ford Focus. Both vehicles had their sirens and blue lights activated. The vehicles were occupied by several armed men, some of whom were in South African Police Service (SAPS) uniforms.

When requested to validate their credentials, the men produced firearms, rounded up security staff in the security checkpoint and ordered them to lie on the floor.

The robbers proceeded to gain access to the airside of the airport where they removed an undisclosed amount of money from a sealed container. No shots were fired and no injuries were reported.

The bakkie and the Ford Focus then exited through the same point of entry at 19h45.

Airports Company South Africa has replaced security guards in the affected operations as a precautionary measure while investigations continue. Security measures around the airport have been further heightened.

Immediately after the incident, the South African Police Service established an investigative task team comprising of Crime Intelligence, The Hawks and SAPS detectives to investigate this matter.

The team has been working around the clock in an effort to trace the robbers. Thus far the two vehicles involved in the robbery have been recovered in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria. It was established that the bakkie had been made to look like an official police vehicle.

Management of Airports Company South Africa is deeply concerned by this robbery and the manner in which it took place. We are working closely with law enforcement agencies to support both the investigation of this robbery and to establish what further measures will be taken.

It is of particular importance to note that the safety of passengers, staff, stakeholders and visitors to the airport was not compromised during the robbery.

We can assure passengers and visitors to the airport that their safety and security remains our top operational priority.

Operations at O. R. Tambo International Airport were not affected and the airport is functioning normally.