Early-bird bombers blast ATM at garage
Shocked petrol pump attendants ran for their lives when early-morning robbers blew up a garage ATM for the second time in less than a year.
The thugs hit shortly after 2am on Sunday - the second ATM attack in just five days in Mpumalanga .
This time it was a First National Bank ATM at the BP petrol station in KaNyamazane township outside Nelspruit.
A petrol attendant, identified only as Ally, told Sowetan that there was a loud bang at the ATM, followed by a second bang minutes later.
"We had to run for our lives because we did not really know what was happening," he said.
"We thought the bomb might have been planted in the garage and only realised later that it was an ATM bombing."
Ally said it was the second time that the same ATM was bombed in less than 12 months.
Shadrack Ngobeni, a sales representative who lives next to the petrol station, said he was fast asleep but shot out of bed when he heard the two loud bangs.
"It was scary because the sound was so loud," Ngobeni said. "I could not sleep afterwards, so I later saw the police arriving at the scene."
Mpumalanga police spokesman Superintendent Abie Khoabane said it was not clear if money was taken from the ATM.
"No arrests have been made and we are still trying to establish if the bombers got away with cash or not," Khoabane said.
Meanwhile, the police in Bushbuckridge have not yet arrested anyone in connection with an ATM bombing at the local branch of ABSA last week Tuesday.
The bombing was one of many in the province.
ATM bombings have become common in the Mpumalanga Lowveld.
Since the beginning of the year criminals have bombed ATMs in KaNyamazane three times, once in Masoyi, twice in Nelspruit and once in Malelane.
The police refuse to divulge the exact number of bombings since the beginning of the year.
But they say investigations are continuing.