Boy 'must pay' for prank calls

2007-01-10 08:06
Bredasdorp - A 12-year-old boy who made seven emergency calls to several local emergency centres will be charged in terms of fire control legislation.

Reinard Geldenhuys, disaster manager of the Overberg municipality said it was against the law to summon firemen to a scene under false pretences.

Geldenhuys met the state prosecutor at Bredasdorp on Tuesday to check the legislation.

"The law must now take its course. Certain processes have to be followed."

A week ago, the calls led amongst other things to a fruitless search for a boat lost at sea, which cost nearly R100 000, including R20 000 for the use of the municipal helicopter.

The Vodacom Netcare 911 helicopter, 38 NSRI volunteers and 24 permanent NSRI members, as well as private and commercials boats took part in the bogus search.

The search was launched when a "hysterical" woman called to say that she and her husband were on a boat that was sinking about 4km from Infanta, near Witsand.

The calls were traced to the cellphone, which belongs to the boy. The boy's grandmother, who locked the offending cellphone in a safe, said on Tuesday that she knew no more than what they heard on the radio.

"We are also waiting. Nobody has been here to tell us what's going to happen next."

The boy's mother said he was calmer now, after having refused initially to discuss the incident.

She said the family "wanted things to be over and done with."

"I have to listen to the telephone the whole day."

"We would just like to get on with our lives."

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