Another ATM is bombed

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

Security guards who were shot at with a high calibre firearm shortly before an Absa ATM was bombed in Mpumalanga are living in fear for their lives.

The two security guards were in their room at the Mnisi tribal authority at Islington village near Manyeleti game reserve when they heard gunfire at about 2.30am on Monday.

Police said one bullet ripped through the door and another hit the wall inside the guard room.

"The guards could only wait in the room and they later heard three loud bangs," said Mhala police spokesman Constable Robert Makhubele.

"We established that the criminals had used high-powered explosives to destroy the ATM, but they could not get any money."

A local teacher, Reyna Mokoni, told Sowetan that she heard a loud explosion.

"I stay quite far from the tribal authority but the explosion sounded as if it was next to my house," said Mokoni.

The latest ATM bombing comes two weeks after the provincial police arrested a group of men who were found with explosives that had the potential to destroy 1000 ATMs.

Mpumalanga police's organised crime unit has taken over the investigations.

"This is the work of organised criminals, that's why we have taken over the investigations from our colleagues at Mhala police station," said Captain Leonard Hlathi yesterday.

The country has so far experienced more than 300 ATM bombings since the beginning of the year.