Grenade Owner On N$20 000 Bail

THE owner of the house where an M59 rifle grenade exploded in Swakopmund’s Ocean View residential suburb on Saturday, resulting in the amputation of a woman’s leg, appeared in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court on a charge of illegal possession of weapons yesterday.

Emwee van Blerk (39) appeared before Magistrate Hannelie Prinsloo and was remanded out of custody on N$20 000 bail and his case was postponed to 01 July to allow for police investigations.

He was ordered to hand over his passport to the police investigating office and report to the Swakopmund police station everyday between 14h00 and 20h00 and that he does not leave the district of Swakopmund.

On Saturday, 23-year old Chantelle Gaoseb, who apparently is the daughter of Van Blerk’s domestic worker, was cleaning out the garage at Van Blerk’s home. She lifted a box allegedly containing old canon bomb shells, from where the grenade fell to the ground and exploded.

Gaoseb suffered severe injuries, most of which were on the lower part of her body, especially her legs. She was rushed to hospital and was transferred to the Windhoek Central Hospital where unconfirmed reports stated that her left leg had to be amputated.

The shrapnel also hit Van Blerk in the left side of his chest but he was already out of hospital on Saturday. He was then arrested.

The police’s bomb squad was called to the scene in case there were more live explosives. Sniffer dogs searched for more explosives but none were found.

It was alleged that Van Blerk makes ashtrays from old shells and was not aware there was a live unit among his stock.

Van Blerk was represented by Garoy September, while Prosecutor Hesekiel Iipinge represented the State.

Source : The Namibian