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Court told: Explosives aren't Smarties

By unknown | Feb 08, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Khanyisile Nkosi

Khanyisile Nkosi

A Westonaria court magistrate yesterday expressed shock over the lack of discipline displayed by mine authorities - in the control of explosives.

After hearing evidence showing how easy it was to get explosives - from the mines to the black market, magistrate Tefo Mnyambo said he was shocked by the lax approach at mines.

"It is unbelievable that mines have no control over the use of explosives. Nobody knows how many explosives are used or left over after a job. Nobody cares. We are talking about explosives here, not Smarties," Mnyambo said.

His comments came after listening to evidence during a bail application by a mine worker who was arrested for allegedly threatening to blow up his family with explosives taken from his work.

The court heard that Freddie Qotshiwe, 43, of Simunye in Westonaria, had consistently threatened to blow up his wife and their three children. He allegedly repeated the threat in the presence of their neighbours.

On the day of his arrest, his wife had found the explosives in their bedroom and called the police out of fear for her life and those of her children.

The police testified that Qotshiwe told his wife shortly after his arrest that he had "not been serious" about his threats.

Mnyambo also criticised police for failing to determine if Qotshiwe had previous convictions.

"The judiciary cannot sit back and not comment when things go wrong. It is unbelievable that police could not determine whether a person has a previous conviction or is a terrorist.

"It is disappointing police could not come up with information that could protect the community from dangerous criminals."

l Qotshiwe was denied bail. His case was postponed to March 4.


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