A brilliant South African pilot, Mark Nel, who was based in Doha at Qatar Airways for the past four years, was murdered in Melkbosstrand. Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut, from the South African police said “Unknown suspects shot Mark Nel, a Qatar Airways pilot that flies the large Airbus A380”.
On the evening of June 16, the 56 year old pilot and his friend, were on their way from a venue in Melkbosstrand to a hotel at Blaauwberg. Mark pulled his vehicle into an empty parking lot at around 9PM, so that his friend could relief himself.
The two men were then attacked and Mark was shot in the right leg, just above his knee. The attackers then fled the scene.
Once hospitalised, doctors tried desperately to save Mark’s leg, but eventually had to amputate the leg as a last resort for saving his life.
Unfortunately, two weeks later, Mark passed away in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, as a result of his injuries.
Network24 reported, that Mark could have been shot by a group of abalone thieves and was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time, as nothing was stolen from him or his friend.
Marks colleagues and friends shared their condolences, for the tragic loss of a skilled aviator:
“Mark was a man amongst men, a friend and a brilliant aviator. He had a heart of gold, a superior sense of humour and was incredibly humble.” a friend of Mark later posted on Facebook.
“Deepest and sincere condolences to the Nel Family, Mark’s friends and colleagues during his service in the South African Air FOrce, as a Flight Engineer in Durban, as well as his fellow colleagues at the former Nationwide Airlines and Qatar Airlines. May he Rest in Peace.” Lionel Ashbury said.
The police have opened an investigation into Mark’s murder. But no arrests have yet been made.