W­hat bomb is t­his?

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Voorblad - S­te­fan Goo­sen

W­hen a man co­mes wal­king in­to your of­fi­ce car­rying w­hat seems li­ke a mis­si­le with him, w­hat would be your first thoug­ht or re­acti­on? Fig­ht or flig­ht?

T­his was the pre­di­ca­ment staff mem­bers of the Knys­na-P­lett He­rald (KPH) found them­sel­ves in mo­men­ta­ri­ly on Tu­es­day 27 March w­hen Horn­lee re­si­dent Des­mond van Rooy­en ca­me wal­king in­to our S­pring S­treet of­fi­ces with w­hat look­ed li­ke so­me kind of mortar shell or u­nu­sed mis­si­le un­der his arm.

It was on­ly w­hen Van Rooy­en star­ted ex­plai­ning how he ca­me a­bout the ob­ject that e­ver­y­bo­dy’s wor­ries sub­si­ded.

Ac­cor­ding to Van Rooy­en he no­ti­ced that so­me child­ren we­re playing with the ar­til­le­ry shell e­ar­lier that sa­me day, ne­ar the old Horn­lee swim­ming pool, and im­me­di­a­te­ly de­ci­ded he had to get it a­way from them.

“The a­rea w­he­re they we­re playing is being cle­a­red for hou­ses to be built the­re, so it must ha­ve co­me out du­ring that pro­cess – but I re­al­ly don’t know how it en­ded up the­re. W­hen I saw one kid cha­sing a­not­her with it I be­ca­me scep­ti­cal and took it from them – you ne­ver know if it is still dan­ge­rous,” said Van Rooy­en.

Af­ter sho­wing KPH w­hat he had found, Van Rooy­en han­ded the ob­ject o­ver to the Knys­na po­li­ce.

Po­li­ce spo­kes­per­son Ser­ge­ant Chris S­pies could not of­fer any ex­pla­na­ti­on as to the o­ri­gin of the shell.

“The 90mm war­he­ad ca­sing was han­ded o­ver to the SAPS ex­plo­si­ves u­nit ba­sed in Mos­sel Bay, for sa­fe­keeping and dis­po­sal,” he said.

S­pies ad­ded that in an e­vent such as t­his, the pu­blic are ad­vi­sed to rat­her con­tact their ne­a­rest po­li­ce sta­ti­on to en­s­u­re sa­fe hand­ling and dis­po­sal.

“The SAPS ex­plo­si­ves u­nit will be dis­pa­t­ched as they are man­da­ted and trai­ned to de­al with such in­ci­dents,” he said.

P­hi­lip Ca­ve­ney of the Knys­na His­to­ri­cal So­cie­ty could not shed lig­ht on the ar­til­le­ry shell’s o­ri­gin either.

“That looks li­ke a mo­dern ar­til­le­ry pie­ce to me, but I am not an ex­pert in t­he­se mat­ters,” he said.

P­ho­tos: S­te­fan Goo­sen

Des­mond van Rooy­en, a re­si­dent of Horn­lee, acted quick­ly w­hen he saw child­ren of the a­rea playing with t­his ar­til­le­ry shell. It has been han­ded o­ver to the po­li­ce.

The 90mm ar­til­le­ry shell from up c­lo­se. How did it land up in Horn­lee?

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