ANC bash: 3 held over green laser light
Johannesburg - Two men and a youth have been arrested near Bloemfontein for contravening aviation laws, police said on Sunday.
A 45-year-old man, his 14-year-old son, and their 22-year-old friend were arrested on Saturday night for pointing a green laser light at helicopters taking off from Bloemfontein Airport and Bloemspruit Air Force base.
The arrest of the three comes after acting national police commissioner Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi said on Thursday a no-fly zone had been declared above Bloemfontein and that the airspace in the area will be monitored during the ANC centenary celebrations over the weekend.
“No aircraft will be flying here to come and crash into the [Free State] Stadium [where the ANC centenary celebrations are being held for the masses on Sunday]," Mkhwanazi had said.
Police said the three arrested will be charged in terms of Section 133 of the Civil Aviation Act.
"The pointing of laser lights is viewed very seriously because it has the potential to blind and disorientate a pilot which could result in the aircraft crashing," Colonel Vishnu Naidoo said.
According to the Civil Aviation Act, any person who wilfully performs any act which jeopardises or may jeopardise the operation of an air carrier is guilty of an offence.
The three are expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Monday.