Down in South Africa, a real brouhaha has developed over the way guns are being handled at Johannesburg International Airport. The issue is important because JIA is a critically important hub for hunters throughout southern Africa, not just South Africa itself. The major problem (and there are others, which we will cover in a future issue) is a bribery-extortion scheme that appears to be directed at hunters who arrive at JIA with guns on their way to destinations outside South Africa. This past month alone two subscribers tell us they were forced to pay bribes to ensure that their guns were placed aboard flights to Zimbabwe. Fortunately, one of those subscribers, whose name we are withholding to prevent reprisals, has taken matters into his own hands and possibly solved the problem, as you will read below. If that is not the case, and you are hit up for a bribe at JIA, please let us know. This kind of bribery and malfeasance at a major international airport has to stop.
Report from a Hunting Report subscriber: "I have just returned from a hunting trip to Zimbabwe and thought you should know about an experience I had at Johannesburg International Airport as I was transferring to Vic Falls on September 18. I checked my baggage with the airline as usual and went to the security office to get my gun cleared for placement on the aircraft. When I set my gun box down on the floor and told the girl behind the counter that I was going to Victoria Falls on SAA flight 060, she looked at it and said that it looked very heavy. She said she was not sure she could lift it. I then asked her to have the gentleman sitting on the counter to take care of it, and she said that he was not cleared to handle guns. At this point, I understood where the conversation was going and asked how much was it going to cost for her to get her strength back. After some haggling, we agreed on $50 (US). At this point, I asked her what would happen........(continued)