More ATMs are blown up

Dudu Busani, Sakhile Mokoena and Alfred Moselakgomo

Dudu Busani, Sakhile Mokoena and Alfred Moselakgomo

While a man appeared in the Protea magistrates' court in Soweto yesterday for allegedly bombing an ATM, another one was blown up in Mpumalanga, police said.

About seven men blew up the Starway General Dealer ATM in Marapyane, KwaMhlanga, after they had disarmed and tied up the shop's security guard. They made away with the safe.

Police spokesman Inspector Veli Semenya said: "The suspects also blew up the shop's tills, took airtime vouchers and boxes of cigarettes."

This is the second time an ATM was blown up in the area this week. On Monday four suspects managed to get away with an undisclosed amount of money after bombing an ATM in Nokaneng, outside Mmametlhake. Semenya said no one had been arrested.

Mzwakhe Ngcobo, 34, the man who was arrested in connection with the bombing of an ATM in Emndeni was granted R2000 bail.

According to the prosecutor, Ngcobo was appearing for a bail hearing, which the state had to grant because the investigating officer did not attend the hearing.

Ngcobo is accused of bombing a Standard Bank ATM machine at an Engen service station in Emndeni last year.

The case has been postponed to February 14 for further investigation.

In the past two years more than 40 cases of ATM bombings have been reported. Soweto and Ekurhuleni in Gauteng and Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal are the hardest hit.

l Meanwhile, a security guard was shot and wounded in a failed armed robbery in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga this week.

Police said the driver of the cash-in-transit van was shot at by occupants of a BMW forcing him to stop. The guards were then disarmed.

The wounded security guard was admitted to a local hospital where he is receiving treatment. Police said they could not identify him for security reasons.