Two suspects in fatal ATM bombing caught after tip-offs

2011-07-22 00:00

TWO suspected members of a gang of automatic teller machine (ATM) bombers were arrested in Johannesburg yesterday, police said.

Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Neville Malila said the arrests were the result of extensive media coverage and a number of tip-offs which came through Crime Line and Crime Stop.

Malila said investigations are at a sensitive stage.

The bombers are suspected to be responsible for a recent ATM bombing in Soweto in which a police reservist was killed. They were heavily armed and escaped in a white Isuzu bakkie.

On Saturday afternoon a security guard was shot execution style during an ATM bombing in the Mondlo administrative area in Vryheid.

Norman Masondo was allegedly pinned to the floor and shot in the head when a group of men invaded the Abaqulusi municipal building, which houses an Absa ATM, at about 7 pm.

Municipal employee Vukile Zwane-Masuku said Mondlo is an easy target for armed robbers. She said that in 2008 a small branch of Absa, which was housed in a section of the municipal building, was bombed and it was closed down.Less than three months after Absa had installed an ATM the bombers were back, killing the security guard this time.

“This is just plain crazy because people’s lives are valueless to these criminals,” said Zwane-Masuku. “We won’t have development here because of the escalating crime level.”

An officer at the local police station who wished to remain nameless told the media suspects have been arrested for the previous bombings.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said an unmarked police vehicle, a security company vehicle and another private car were shot at while driving past the scene.

He said one person was injured in the private vehicle and was taken to a local hospital.

Brigadier Malila said the same modus operandi was used in the Mondlo bombing and warned the public that the men are heavily armed, brazen and well organised, and they are not afraid to kill.

“We thank the public and the media, but appeal to them to continue to assist us in identifying the other men and to tell us their whereabouts,” said Malila.

“The partnership between the police, the public and the media is being strengthened with initiatives like these.”

To view the Mondlo footage visit www.crimeline.co.za.

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