Update: 6.40pm on August 19:
Lonehill Residents Association has issued a statement that Lonehill Boulevard, in Fourways, Johannesburg, is now open to traffic. Police have successfully cleared the site of the bomb threat and the shopping centre will be open to patrons in the next 20 minutes. Further details are not known at this time.
5.30pm on August 19:
Lonehill Shopping Centre in Fourways, Johannesburg, was evacuated just before 4pm this afternoon after a bomb threat was received, reports the Fourways Review.
Station commander of the Douglasdale Police Station Brigadier Lettie Hugo said, “Bomb threat received. Lonehill shopping centre evacuated for all safety.”
Hugo added that officers were on the scene with search dogs and were investigating.
By 4.30pm, Lonehill Residents Association said Metro police support staff and dogs had arrived to support the police at the shopping centre and no devices had been found.
Nicky Arthur PR said the centre received an anonymous email earlier in the day mentioning a bomb threat. The agency added that the authorities were notified immediately and the building was evacuated.
— CICA – Crime Intel (@CICArsa) August 19, 2016
#Lonehill – Lonehill Boulevard closed. No access to *Lonehill Shopping Centre*
— Bonnie Robinson (@BonnieNRobinson) August 19, 2016
This scare follows a similar one in Fourways that took place at the Standard Bank in Fourways Crossing yesterday.
Hugo confirmed there was a bomb threat but it was negative, and police had declared the building safe. Ross Linstrom, spokesperson for Standard Bank, said, “We closed the branch for today (Thursday) for the safety of our staff and customers, but we will be operating as usual tomorrow (19 August).”
Linstrom added that police were still investigating the issue and declined to speculate on the source of the threat. “We can’t comment on the source of the threat, but would like to apologise to our customers for the inconveniences caused,”said Linstrom.
A customer who was at the bank, Jan Isaac, said “I was at the foreign exchange desk doing a transaction when the teller told me that I had to leave. I have been waiting for my passport for about one and a half hours now and I have still not received it.”
– Caxton News Service