I was actually surprised at the laxity of airport security both at OR Tambo International and Durban International. Granted, these are domestic flights and S.A. isn't exactly the centre of the world's money market, but still
We were going down to scatter our mother's ashes on the beach. We only took hand luggage because theft at OR Tambo is rampant. So we put Mom's ashes in a packet (they were in a wooden box, scr3wed shut) and just took them with us. When we got our boarding passes, the lady just said, "Is there anything sharp in your luggage?" I said, "Um, a disposable razor?" She said that was fine. We were told to keep our IDs handy with our boarding passes, but I had already packed mine away and only had my brother's ID and the boarding passes in my hand. The security guy didn't even look at either the boarding passes or Zefrem's ID.
Then when we got to the X-ray machine, we just dumped our backpacks, my shoulder travel bag (stuffed with toiletries and prescription medication) and the packet with the ashes onto the belt. No one said anything
. I mean, I had the cremation certificate with me just in case, but no one even asked about it. We could have been smuggling c0caine or something, and they let us right through!
It was the same on the flight from Durban Int. back to Jo'Burg. They didn't check our IDs (they do when you get your boarding pass, but didn't when we went through security to get on the plane) or anything.
I was happy that it's not like in the States where they won't let you take gel or whatever with you, but really, it didn't make me feel safe at all. OTOH, this is S.A.