"Please do not bother us because we did not come to you but to work on the ATM."
This was the stern warning by four of seven gang members to petrol attendants at a garage in Rockville, Soweto, yesterday.
Two police officers, one of them a woman, were injured when the gang opened fire on them minutes after blowing up the FNB ATM on the Old Potchefstroom Road at about 2am.
The policewoman, shot in the head and in the leg, has been admitted to hospital in a critical condition.
Her colleague, injured in the face by shattering glass, was treated and released.
Moroka police spokesman Captain Mpande Khoza said they have launched a manhunt for the gang and deployed police in the area.
"Four men approached the garage and told the petrol attendants not to bother them because they had come to work on the ATM," he said.
"They robbed a security guard of his service pistol. They also ordered them to lie down.
"Three other men joined them and they placed explosives in the ATM. They counted from one to three and then one of them lit the fuse."
Khoza said the police officers were patrolling the area when they witnessed the bombings.
"When they arrived the robbers opened fire," he said.
More than 300 ATMs have been blown up countrywide this year with Gauteng topping the list.
About 10 ATMs were blown up this week alone and three policemen injured after confronting ATM robbers.
On Monday, a gang of 10 robbers wearing balaclavas and armed with AK-47 assault rifles shot a policeman in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg, after blowing up two Standard Bank ATMs at a shopping centre.
Meanwhile, Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi reports that two policeman, two soldiers and a business man appeared in the Vereeniging magistrate's court charged with possessing explosives.
Mokgedi Koloko, 42, Phillip Moteti, 38, Thabo Makgema, 35, Oujan Mahoboko, 41, and Brian Molebetsi were arrested on Tuesday and are accused of bombing an ATM in Sharpeville, Vaal Rand.
Koloko, a former bomb squad member, is now attached to the Vereeniging police station.
SANDF members Moteti and Makgema were granted R5000 bail each.