UPDATE: Durban ‘bomb’ turns out to be a security tag

File image.

File image.

Paranoia has gripped the coastal city in the wake of a spree of suspicious devices turning out to be very dangerous indeed.

Reports of another ‘suspicious device’ in Durban emerged on Monday morning. The device was allegedly found in an underground parking lot at the Pavilion Shopping Centre in Durban this morning.

It has now emerged that as of noon on Monday, the situation at the Pavilion Shopping Centre in Durban had been cleared, and the device was found not to have been an explosive, but rather a discarded security tag, reports Highway Mail.

Durban has seen a number of devices detonate in shopping centres, and reports over the weekend said two devices were also found on the periphery of the Durban July.

Last week, two incendiary devices were found at both Gateway and Pavilion Shopping Centres, in the Woolworths menswear section of both malls.

These devices were said to have started a fire, but not an explosion.

The devices were hidden in Woolworths’ menswear section. Image: Supplied

Police and bomb squad were alerted, and reports of the centre having been evacuated surfaced on social media.

Meanwhile,  KZN Premier Willies Mchunu has condemned the placing of bomb-like devices in public places following the recent discovery of detonating devices at Gateway Mall and other public places.

 “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the placing of bomb like devices in public places whose only intention can only be to plant fear and insecurity among the citizens of KwaZulu-Natal,” said Premier Mchunu.

The premier who assured the provincial government would investigate the incidents thoroughly also advised people not to panic.

“We call for calm during this time and request that government is given the space to conduct the necessary investigations into this matter,” he said.   “We have placed high priority on these incidents, working with our provincial police and together with all relevant agencies in order to get to the bottom of this matter.”

National response

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently appointed an Inter-Ministerial Task Team of Ministers of State Security, Home Affairs, Defence, Justice and Police to look at priority issues affecting safety and security.

“As KwaZulu-Natal, we will continue to work very closely with the Inter-Ministerial Committee which is led by Minister of Police Bheki Cele. We have already held several fruitful engagements with the team during their visits to KwaZulu-Natal, and have made significant progress on major issues in the table.”

“We want to assure the citizens of KwaZulu-Natal that working in close collaboration with national government, we will do everything to maintain peace and stability in KwaZulu-Natal,” said Premier Mchunu.

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