BY ERNEST MABUZA
Two passengers were arrested at OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday on charges of allegedly making bomb threats.
The passengers were detained following separate incidents at the check-in counters of a domestic airline at about 2.30pm and 5pm respectively. The suspects had missed their flights.
Those arrested are a 38 year-old man and a 28-year-old man, both of whom are South African citizens.
The passengers involved in these separate incidents were taken to the airport’s police station and detained.
They will be required to appear in the Kempton Park Magistrates Court to answer to charges of contravening the SA Civil Aviation Act.
It is alleged that the individuals each made a bomb threat while engaging airline staff at the relevant domestic check-in counters.
Spokesperson for the airport, Leigh Gunkel-Keuler, said that the airport followed a zero-tolerance approach to bomb threats, irrespective of the circumstances.
“We are a National Key Point and adhere to global standards of airport security. There is simply no rationalisation or excuse for making bomb threats.”
Gunkel-Keuler said the intentions or state of mind of those making the threats made no difference from a security point of view as the safety of passengers remained the airport’s number one priority.
“These passengers missed their flights and will now have to face charges. We appreciate that circumstances around reservations, flight delays and so on can be stressful.
“However, there are no conditions under which airport security will tolerate bomb threats from people unable to exercise a modicum of restraint or good judgment,” she said.