Police uncover ‘ATM’ explosives in North West, Limpopo; arrest seven

What is left of an ATM that was bombed in Nigell Road, Selcourt

Members of the SAPS, acted on intelligence operations in both provinces, Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said.

South African Police Service (SAPS) officers have arrested seven suspects in North West and Limpopo in separate incidents this weekend for possession of explosive devices and conspiracy to commit an offence, in the process preventing potential automated teller machine (ATM) robberies, the SAPS said on Sunday.

“In the first incident, members went to Seraleng village in Brits [North West], where they arrested three suspects aged between 27 and 29 for possession of over 20 explosive devices,” he said.

The team went to another village, called Lekgaleng, to search for a black BMW with three occupants implicated in the planning of ATM bombing at a local business centre. The car was spotted and stopped. Police seized the car along with potentially incriminating items. The three suspects were arrested for conspiracy to commit robbery involving ATM bombings.

In another incident, a woman aged 36 was arrested by police at Beit Bridge port of entry in Limpopo. When police conducted routine searches at the border gate, they discovered several components for explosive devices, including connector caps, emulsion explosives, and blasting caps, Naidoo said.

National Police Commissioner Lt-Gen Khehla John Sitole had since his appointment pronounced, as part of his turnaround strategy, that decisive action would be taken to “stamp the authority of the state”.

“One of the ways of achieving this is to ensure an effective and efficient crime intelligence environment coupled with a dynamic organised crime threat analysis (OCTA) strategy,” Naidoo said.

Sitole said, “I am satisfied that since the appointment of a permanent head of crime intelligence, for the first time in seven years, that crime intelligence is moving in a positive direction and proving to be an enabling entity.”

The suspects were expected to appear in court soon on charges of illegal possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit a crime, Naidoo said.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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