South Africa: Blockade in the Air

SOUTH AFRICA

Twenty minutes from Niamey, Niger, approaching for a night landing, the pilot of the chartered South African Constellation received an unsettling message from the control tower: turn away or have the plane seized on the ground. With his fuel tanks almost empty, the pilot had to set down anyway, and the Connie, its crew and 79 passengers—most of them white South Africans returning from European holiday—were surrounded by black guards armed with rusty rifles. Not until 24 hours later was the flight allowed to resume, and local authorities warned that in...

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