Day twenty four - leaving South Africa,
26th October 2007

With all its failings and challenges South Africa does have one thing that Australia doesn't and that is an independent media.

You should understand that I am not talking about political interference rather publisher interference (Murdoch) and, as a result, the complete breakdown of ethics by some of those who work within his organistaion.

To the media in South Africa I say continue to fight for your freedom - don't let the draconian hand of an overseas media mogul, like Murdoch, destroy your ability to report without prejudice.

I was impressed with the manner in which the S African media took on the corruption of the system despite threats. That is what the media should be doing. Here in Australian the media is so controlled by one media mogul that he is now the political power - being able to see the demise of the most stable political party in this country.

Now that I have got that off my chest let me tell you about the lengthy trip home.

Image right: Agitated domestic travellers face lengthy waits in Brisbane as luggage from four separate flights are sent to the same carousel - the other three carousels remain unused.

I left OR Tambo International airport (in Johannesburg) at about 3pm and arrived in Kuala Lumpur at 7am the next morning. It was 3pm that same day (27th) before I arrived in Australia (Perth).

Before leaving I was shown several impounded planes that had originated from the Congo and been found to be involved in drug and arms trafficking. The image below shows that one of these planes had had their navigation nose removed to prevent it from being "stolen".

The next day it was off to Brisbane to face the world's worst luggage carousel... (it was exactly the same last year)!   

Qantas at Johannesburg

Plane without navigation nose

More impounded planes

South African colours

My Malaysian plane

At K-L again!

Return to Scott Balson's 2007 book tour