Cape Town – The mother of a pupil who attends school with a Cape Town teen who ran away from home to join the Islamic State, says the girl is a loner.
“She has no friends,” said the mother, adding that her daughter was shaken after the news broke.
The 15-year-old was taken off a British Airways flight before it took off for Saudi Arabia.
The mother said her daughter had complained that she was being cyber bullied by the pupil, who had been very active on social media platforms, according to State Security Minister David Mahlobo.
He told eNCA that the teen had been interacting with strange people and reading material that suggested she was interested in joining the terror group.
News24 on Monday night made enquiries at British Airways at OR Tambo International to find out just what is required to allow a minor to fly alone.
While the girl has now been returned safely to her family, the suspicious circumstances surrounding her attempt to board a plane allegedly destined for Saudi Arabia at Cape Town International Airport has begged many questions.
News24 asked the British Airways reservations office at OR Tambo International what was required for a minor to purchase an international ticket on his or her own.
The first question that came to mind was: does a teenager need a legal guardian to fly abroad?
No, it doesnt have to be a legal guardian, just someone responsible, the reservations officer on the other line said.
That person would have to sign indemnity forms on behalf of the child, as well as give details of a responsible adult who will collect the minor at the destination.
Theyd then need to pay a fee of US$150.
When asked if a minor would have to be physically checked in at the airport by a responsible adult, the reservations officer said.
Yes. A child between the ages of 5 and 12 would need a legal guardian to actually travel with them, but a minor older than that would need a responsible adult to check them in.
A visa, according to the reservations officer, would also have to be presented, but would depend on the country of destination, as different countries have varying laws regarding visa requirements. News24