Businessman Buyanga mourns victims of the Ethiopian plane crash

Frank Buyanga

Johannesburg-based businessman Frank Buyanga joined other business and political leaders send condolences to the families and governments of the victims of Ethiopian Airlines plane crash.

Since the crash on Sunday, condolences have been pouring in from across the world after the crash killed 157 passengers from at least 35 countries.

The flamboyant businessman with mining and property interest in seven countries on the continent released a statement on Sunday saying: “I am severely saddened by the tragic plane crash that occurred in Ethiopia and the loss of life of all passengers and crew.”

Buyanga said: “Africa has lost, the world has lost.”

The flight left Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa going to Nairobi on Sunday but crashed after losing contact with the control tower shortly after takeoff.

Thirty-two Kenyans, 17 Ethiopians, 18 Canadians and three Russian nationals are among the dead. 

Four Slovakians were also on the plane, including the family of politician Anton Hrnko, the vice chairman of the Slovak National Party. He wrote on Facebook that his wife, Blanka, son Martin and daughter Michal, had died. 

The three Russian nationals on the flight were also identified by their embassy as Ekaterina Polyakova, Alexander Polyakov and Sergey Vyalikov. 

The US embassy said they are “working to determine the identities” of the eight Americans killed. 

Other leaders who sent their condolences include South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent condolences to the families and friends of the deceased. 

“As South Africans and the government of South Africa, we pass our condolences on the plane crash that killed so many people. (It) is a harrowing experience that is very terrifying to the families. We also pass our condolences to the families and the government. I will be talking to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia to pass our condolences. So, we are very sad that an incident like that has happened,” Ramaphosa said.

While Russian President Vladimir Putin committed to supporting the families of those who have been affected by the tragedy. 

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta also sent his condolences.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende