Airplane fault grounds S.Africa deputy leader Finnish visit

18th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

South Africa's Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe cancelled the Finnish leg of an official trip to three Nordic countries because of airplane troubles, his office said Tuesday.

Motlanthe was due to leave for Finland on Monday but an airforce operated airplane encountered problems shortly before take-off in the capital Pretoria.

"The delay resulted in the cancellation of the Finland leg of Deputy President Mothlanthe's mission to the Nordic countries," a statement read.

Motlanthe would head for Sweden and Denmark instead on a commercial flight on Tuesday.

His visit aims to follow up a 2008 partnership agreement between South Africa and Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma visited Norway in August for talks on bilateral relations and climate change.

The airplane problem was not the first for Motlanthe whose aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing two years ago in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

© 2011 AFP

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