Another KZN ATM bombing

Mitchell Harper

Mitchell Harper

A Standard Bank ATM in Umzinto in KwaZulu-Natal was bombed yesterday bringing the number of bombings to more than 10 in the province this year.

Police said they were tipped-off about the incident shortly before the explosion at about 2am.

"When the police arrived at the scene suspects opened fire and their vehicle was hit twice. Fortunately no officer was hit," said police spokesman Vincent Pandarum.

He said the suspects fled after police back-up arrived at the scene.

"The suspects used commercial explosives to blow up the ATM. It appears no money was taken, but this can only be confirmed by the bank," he said.

A total of 280 ATMs were blown up in South Africa between January 1 and July 31 this year. The damage to property is estimated to amount to more than R62,4million.

In July four men were arrested in connection with five bombings of ATMs in KwaZulu-Natal.

Three of them: Nicholas Shangase, 40, Sicelo Mbambo, 26, and Sipho Gumede, 41, applied for bail at the Durban magistrates' court on Tuesday. The court denied them bail because it considered them a danger to the public.

During their arrest the men were found in possession of AK-47s assault rifles, pistols and live ammunition. Police also confiscated R18610 in cash.

In a separate case this month KwaZulu-Natal police arrested the alleged leader of the ATM bombings gang, Lebohang Ranyali, 23.

Ranyali's gang is suspected to be behind two ATM bombings, one in KwaZulu-Natal and another in Gauteng.

Anyone with information may contact Detective Inspector Basil Crouse at this number 039-688-2300.