German due in court after World Cup bomb hoax

CAPE TOWN - A 68-year old German photographer is expected to appear in a Cape Town court following hoax threats against the draw for next year's World Cup, South African police said on Saturday.

The German, who cannot be named until he is officially charged, was one of two people arrested on Friday for separate false bomb threats.

"The two suspects arrested in connection with bomb threats are still in police custody," national police spokesman Vishnu Naidoo said.

"Both suspects are likely to be charged with contravening the Explosives Act by making fake bomb threats. The German will appear in court on Monday unless he makes an urgent bail application," Naidoo said.

One of the main entrances to the Cape Town Convention Centre, where hundreds of dignitaries and football stars appeared to attend the final draw, was clogged on Friday when the photographer dropped a bag he claimed contained a bomb and fled.

A 45-year-old South African man was also arrested after making two hoax calls warning of a bomb at Cape Town's international airport.

Naidoo said no incidents of violence or criminality were reported at a World Cup draw street party attended by a larger-than-expected crowd of an estimated 50,000 local and foreign fans.

Police had anticipated a modest 15,000 fans would converge on Long Street, the scene of the main final draw party.

"This was a fantastic opportunity to implement strategies and it was executed successfully," said Naidoo. Police had deployed 1,000 members to ensure safety.

He credited party-goers, many of whom drank large amounts of alcohol, for behaving themselves. "If last night was anything to go on, we are heading for the mother of all safe parties in 2010," Naidoo said.

South Africa's police minister said the country was prepared for every security threat before the World Cup. The country, the first African nation to host the World Cup finals, has one of the world's highest murder rates.