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Cape Town - A car dealership in Athlone was fire bombed on Sunday night - the second dealership in the area to come under attack in three weeks.
Two cars at Auto Belgravia in Belgravia Road, one of which was a rare, imported 1997 Volvo S90, were seriously damaged in the fire. The damage was most severe on the front bumper and engine area of the vehicles. A third vehicle was slightly damaged in the bombing.
On Monday morning, the dealership was open for business as staff waited for a police forensics team to arrive.
An employee, who asked not to be named for work-related reasons, said damage assessments had not yet been done but added that the vehicles might have to be written off. The cars were valued at about R60 000 each.
Auto Belgravia belongs to Naushaad Hoosain. He was not at the dealership on Monday morning but his receptionist said a nearby business owned by him, The Snack Box takeaways, had been burgled last night at about the same time as the bombing.
Staff refused to give the Cape Argus Hoosain’s cellphone number.
Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk confirmed that a case of malicious damage to property had been opened in connection with the fire at Auto Belgravia. No one had been injured in the attack and no arrests had been made, Van Wyk said.
On July 24, another Athlone dealership, Velocity Motors on Klipfontein Road, was bombed.
It is suspected that pipe bombs were used as there was significant shrapnel damage to a number of cars but little evidence of fire.
The July bombing occurred shortly after a People Against Gangsterism And Drugs (Pagad) motorcade in the area, leading to speculation that the crime may be linked to the organisation.
The Hawks are investigating and no arrests have been made.
Niyaaz Janoodian, owner of Velocity Motors, said he expected to have CCTV footage of the bombing in the near future. He has agreed to make the footage public.
Pagad’s Cassiem Parker has asked the media not to contact him for comment regarding illegal activities, saying the organisation was in no way involved in any crimes.