Gran's bomb joke bombs

2010-05-10 09:45

Bloemfontein - An Mpumalanga woman's joke about having a bomb and a machine gun in her suitcase while checking in at Bloemfontein airport resulted in her being arrested and detained overnight.

Charmaine Hugo, 50, had been in Bloemfontein for the birth of her second grandchild.

Her joke resulted in a special sitting of the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court in the early hours of Saturday morning. She was released on R500 bail shortly before dawn by Magistrate Andries Schoeman. The State did not oppose bail.

She is due to appear in the magistrate's court again on Monday, presumably charged with contravening the Civil Aviation Act.

Willem Edeling was instructed by Francois Alberts, of Alberts Attorneys, to appear on behalf of Hugo, while Johan de Nysschen represented the State.

A source told Volksblad that there is the possibility of a civil suit and criminal charges against police officials as a result of their actions.

Hugo's husband is also an attorney.

Sniffer dogs

As far as can be ascertained, the drama started on Friday evening as Hugo checked in her luggage for her flight to Johannesburg.

Apparently she was asked a few times what she had in her suitcase, to which she answered that it contained only clothing and similar items.

When asked for the umpteenth time, she apparently replied in a joking way that she was carrying a machine gun and a bomb or explosives.

Volksblad was told that explosives experts and sniffer dogs showed up immediately and started to search her luggage. Although no weapons or explosives were found, Hugo was arrested.

She called Alberts before the police took her to the Navalsig police station, where De Nysschen reportedly arrived after he, too, was summoned.

Alberts called in Edeling's help.

Volksblad has also learned that, despite a recommendation by De Nysschen that she be released with a warning, the police refused to release her.

The police transferred her to the cells at the Mangaung police station.

Meanwhile, Edeling had made arrangements for a bail application at the magistrate's court, but a policeman at Mangaung reportedly refused to take her to the court.

Apparently Edeling, Alberts, De Nysschen and Schoeman spent over an hour waiting in the magistrate's court building in the early morning hours, before members of the organised crime unit brought Hugo to the court. The bail application finally began at 05:00.


On Sunday Alberts told Volksblad that Hugo, who is currently with her son in Bloemfontein, is still too traumatised to speak to the media.

"It's a nightmare. The way they treated her was unacceptable."

Police spokesperson Mmako Mophiring confirmed the incident on Sunday and said Hugo had apparently threatened or alleged that there was a bomb in her luggage.

Such comments or threats are taken very seriously and will not be tolerated, he said, adding that it is probably due to the gravity of the incident that the police didn't want to release her on bail.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  air travel

Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24


Device lets disabled people talk through their nose

A device that converts nose breaths into speech will open new doors for people with Parkinson’s or motor neuron disease.


For chic geeks...

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real
Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Code 8 Drivers

Cape Town
Mobile Recruitment
R5 000 - R6 000 Per Month

Senior Audit Manager

Cape Town
SET Recruitment Consultants
R600 000 - R750 000 Per Year

Digital Project Manager

Cape Town CBD
New Media Publishing

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Don`t judge so quickly or expect too much, be more accepting and understanding and make space for fun and spontaneity. more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.