ATM bombings up 3000%

2008-07-12 11:19

Johannesburg - ATM bombings have increased by 3000% over the past three years, the Saturday Star reported.

The Star revealed that explosives stolen from gold mines are been sold on the black market.

About 292 ATM's have been blown up across the country so far this year with 12 cases reported during this week, the report said.

A huge problem existed in the control of explosives, said Johan Burger the head of the criminal justice programme at the Institute for Security Studies.

"Criminals may have access to other industries but indications are they get their explosives from corrupt officials at mines."

"The bombers represented a sophisticated group who had expertise needed to use explosives," he said.

Burger also said this was evident in the planning and execution of the bombings.

"These are from highly trained individuals with firearm training and military background."

The report also said mines across Gauteng are engaging in internal meetings to discuss the leakage of explosives.

Graham Briggs, Harmony Gold's Chief CEO said theft of explosives was very difficult to control.

He said while that while surface security was tight, the area of difficult control was underground.