Bomb threat: Scare at Bloem’s new Mandela statue

2012-12-24 00:00

BLOEMFONTEIN — Naval Hill with its new, giant statue of former president Nelson Mandela, was closed to the public for several hours on Saturday after a phone call threatening that the statue would be blown up by a bomb.

Police spokesperson Captain Rulene Kühn said the anonymous call was made to the police in Bloemfontein at about 5 pm.

Several families and tourists who wanted to visit Naval Hill to look at the R3,7 million, two-week-old statue were turned away at the gate while officers and police dogs searched the area for explosives.

No explosives or bomb were found.

Brigadier Billy Jones, Free State provincial police spokesperson, said there was no connection between the weekend’s bomb scare and last week’s alleged plans for a terror attack by four rightwingers.

The site was open to the public yesterday.

Qondile Khedama, spokesperson for the Mangaung metro municipality, said the municipality planned to add access control to Naval Hill, which already has 24-hour security.

Oupa Khoabane, provincial spokesperson of ANC said the party was worried that rightwingers would want to vandalise or destroy the statue and it was taking steps to help prevent this. — Own Correspondents.

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