Gran in court after bomb joke

2010-05-11 11:07

Bloemfontein - A White River grandmother appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Monday after she made a joke about a machine gun and explosives at the Bloemfontein airport.

Her trial was postponed to May 31.

Meanwhile, it came to light that Charmaine Hugo, 50, was the second person in over a week who was arrested at this airport after the word "bomb" was used.

Neil van der Walt, a young medical doctor from Cape Town, was arrested the previous weekend when he said his luggage contained "everything but a bomb".

Bail extended

Hugo's bail of R500, which was set on Saturday morning just before dawn in a special session at the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court, was extended on Monday by Magistrate L Mzana.

Francois Alberts of Alberts Attorneys said on her behalf that as she was from Mpumalanga and the trial was postponed for further investigation, he was asking that she be excused from the next court session.

He would organise it with the investigating officer.

Hugo had visited Bloemfontein for her grandchild's birth and was travelling home on Friday afternoon when security staff repeatedly asked her what was in her luggage, to which she jokingly replied that she had a machine gun and a bomb.

Explosives experts and sniffer dogs immediately closed in on her.

'Everything but a bomb'

In the incident involving Van der Walt on May 2, airport staff had asked the doctor - who had attending a wedding in Bloemfontein - what was in his bag. He was booked on a flight to Cape Town.

His luggage was apparently too heavy. He allegedly answered: "Everything but a bomb".

He was arrested and only appeared the following day in the magistrate's court. He was released on bail of R1 000. He has to appear in court again on May 17.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Mmako Mophiring said police viewed both cases in a very serious light.

People who behaved in such a manner could be expected to be arrested and charged.