The 10 biggest bomb scares of 2016



These are the most dramatic bomb scares from this year.

This year we saw  a spate of bomb threats around the country.

The Citizen takes you through the most dramatic bomb scares from February to November:

1. Bomb scare at West Rand mall

Authorities were alerted to a bomb threat at the Absa Bank in Village Square Mall in Randfontein, on the West Rand, in February.

Randfontein police spokesperson Captain Appel Ernst confirmed the threat but said authorities could not find anything.

Chris Mafuya, an eyewitness, said he was standing outside the mall when he saw a woman running out of Absa, screaming.

“I was standing at the entrance next to Absa, and I saw this woman. She shouted and ran away, then went back. She said something about a bomb. The workers also walked out afterwards,” Mafuya said.

2. Bomb threat at Joburg High Court

The Johannesburg High Court was evacuated in February following a bomb threat during the proceedings of convicted criminals Radovan Krejcir, Desai Luphondo, former East Rand warrant officers Samuel Modise Maropeng, Jan Lefu Mofokeng and George Jeff Nthoroane and Siboniso Miya.

As court resumed after lunch, a police member came into court and whispered something to Advocate Louis Mashiane, who then informed sitting judge Colin Lamont of the threat.

Lamont left immediately, while Tactical Response Team officers bolted down a side corridor to secure him.

3. Bomb threat at the Emalahleni City Council

Customers and employees evacuated the Emalahleni City Council building in Witbank, Mpumalanga, after they received a bomb threat early in February.

Law-enforcement and Witbank police closed off the road around the Emalahleni City Council ensuring the safety of everyone.

4. Two Benoni Absa banks received bomb threats

In March, police and K9 unit responded the scene after two Absa banks in the Benoni CBD, Gauteng received bomb threats.

Benoni police spokesperson Lieutenant Nomsa Sekele said the Absa bank on Tom Jones Street and Cranbourne Avenue and another in the Benoni Plaza received calls, one after another.

5. Shoppers were evacuated after a Randburg CBD bomb threat

In July, shoppers were evacuated from the Cash Converters store in the Randburg Square shopping centre, in Johannesburg, following reports of a bomb.

According to Randburg police spokesperson Constable Stanley Bopape, police were still searching for the bomb, but nothing had yet been found.

6. Standard Bank received a bomb threat

In July, staff members and customers were evacuated from Standard Bank in Kempton Park, East Rand, after a bomb scare.

Kempton police spokesperson Captain Jethro Mtshali said the bank received an anonymous phone call telling them there was a bomb inside the bank.

“The police were informed at about 7.30am. The police’s explosives unit was immediately dispatched to the scene. After inspecting the building, no threats were found,” added Mtshali.

7. Lonehill Boulevard open to traffic following bomb scare

In August, police successfully cleared the site of the bomb threat and the shopping centre was reopened.

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.

8. Bomb squad searched Newcastle hospital

A bomb threat forced the evacuation of staff and patients at the Newcastle Provincial Hospital in September.

Patients and medical staff gathered opposite the road, fearing the worst.

The hospital’s spokesperson Sabelo Buthelezi said there was a suspicious package found, but it was a drill.

9. Three Fourways shopping centres received false bomb threats

Three shopping centres were evacuated after false bomb threats were reported in the centres in Fourways, Johannesburg.

Douglasdale police spokesperson Captain Mpho Kgasoane confirmed the bomb threats that were reported at Lonehill Shopping Centre, Carlswald Lifestyle Shopping Centre and Bel Air Shopping Centre.

“There was indeed a bomb threat at Lonehill Shopping Centre and Bel-Air Shopping Centre, as the police, K-9 Unit and bomb squad immediately reported to the scene,” she said.

Kgasoane said after hours of inspection, they came to a conclusion that the threats were a false report.

10.  PW Botha College evacuated after false bomb scare

In November, PW Botha College in George, Western Cape was evacuated after someone phoned the 10111 emergency number, saying there was a bomb at the school.

A staff member of PW Botha said police immediately notified the school about the bomb threat and that the bomb squad and dog units were on their way. Everyone was instructed to leave the building.

The school was immediately evacuated, and the learners assembled on the rugby field in accordance with their bomb drill training.

The learners were then moved into the shade on the grandstand.

– Caxton News Service

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