Sixth ATM blast this week rocks garage

Nkosana Lekotjolo and Sibongile Mashaba

Nkosana Lekotjolo and Sibongile Mashaba

A sixth ATM has been blown up - a day after five blasts were reported in Gauteng this week.

Yesterday, an FNB ATM was blown up at a Lenasia South BP garage at about 1am.

On Tuesday, five Absa ATMs were bombed between 2am and 3am in Kempton Park and Elspark in Ekurhuleni.

Lenasia police spokesman Captain Mbulaheni Netshi-vhodza said the robbers fled empty-handed in a black BMW without number plates.

"Two men parked their car at the garage pretending to fill it with petrol," he said.

"A few minutes later, there was a loud bang at the ATM but no money was stolen because the safe inside the machine did not open."

Netshivhodza said ATM bombings were escalating in Lenasia South. Just last month, a Standard Bank ATM was bombed, he said.

No one was injured and no arrests have been made in connection with the FNB ATM bombing. Police have opened a case of malicious damage to property.

Meanwhile, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) launched a Whistle-blowing Awareness Week on Monday aimed at involving the public in reporting bank-related criminal activities.

Sabric chief executive Kalyani Pillay said the role of the community in eradicating all crimes cannot be overemphasised.

"By being the eyes and ears of the authorities within the communities in which we live and work, every citizen can help the police to be more effective.

"Through the efforts of South African banks, more people have access to bank services than ever before.

"But, the actions of criminals, particularly those who are targeting the ATMs, are limiting the ability to extend banking networks further," Pillay said.