Sanral employee arrested for white powder scare

The South African Police Service announced on Thursday that it arrested an employee of the South African National Road Agency on charges related to acts of terrorism.

The police service's Organised Crime Unit of the Hawks in Gauteng arrested the 28-year-old Sanral employee at Sanral's Central Operations Centre in Centurion while he was on duty. The officers seized the employee's cell phone, suspecting it was an instrument used to commit the offense.

Sanral employees were evacuated from the facility on three recent occasions as a result of threats with an unidentified white powder. The powder, which some feared to be anthrax, was tested and proved not to be a deadly substance.

There was no known motive for the suspect's alleged offense. Investigations were ongoing as of Thursday.

The suspect was scheduled to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Friday on charges related to acts of terrorism.

After one of the recent incidents, Nazir Alli, the CEO of Sanral, condemned the people or group responsible for the powder scares, South African Press Association reports.

"We appeal to people's sense of citizenship," Alli said, according to SAPA. "Yes, citizens are active and entitled to dissent within the context of a constitutional democracy. Those who have chosen to show their dissent by sending these powdery substances to our centre are showing an unfortunate conception of citizenship."