Durban — With the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) expected to release its latest annual crime statistics at the start of September, an alleged automated teller machine (ATM) bomber has appeared in court for July 2007 ATM bombing incidents.
Sabric chief executive Nischal Mewalall said that with regards to the number of ATM attacks using explosives in KwaZulu-Natal in 2007, the number was 31.
KwaZulu-Natal Hawks Lieutenant-Colonel Simphiwe Mhlongo said that on Thursday, August 24, 2023, Hawks members from Durban Serious Organised Crime Investigation and Umlazi Tactical Response Team arrested Scelo Mbambo, 42, for ATM bombings that happened around Durban in July 2007.
Mhlongo said that Mbambo and his accomplices allegedly used explosives to bomb ATMs in Pinetown, Hillcrest and Greenwood Park. During the incidents, shots were fired at the responding law enforcement agencies. On July 19, 2007, they were arrested by the Durban Organised Crime Unit.
“They were charged with contravention of the Explosive Act, attempted murder and malicious damage to property. They appeared in court several times, and Mbambo evaded trial in February 2012. A warrant of arrest was issued and it was executed yesterday (August 24),” Mhlongo said.
“Mbambo briefly appeared in the Durban High Court yesterday (August 24), and was remanded. The case was postponed to September 7, 2023.”
In April 2007, IOL reported that four ATMs were blown up in the province in the past two years. The bombings took place in Newcastle, Ntuzuma and Clermont. At the time, the provincial police had met with officials from Sabric to discuss those cases and other forms of bank robberies and fraud.
In August 2007, IOL reported that Pietermaritzburg detectives arrested two people they believed were going to blow up an ATM. Two other people, believed to be accomplices, were killed in a shoot-out. Various firearms were recovered on the scene and those arrested were treated in hospital.
In Durban, the Organised Crime Unit arrested four men for allegedly causing an explosion at an ATM in Ashfield Avenue, Greenwood Park.
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