Woolworths customers were evacuated on Saturday after the discovery of a suspected bomb on Saturday morning. Picture: Nabeelah Shaikh

DURBAN - WOOLWORTHS Gateway has been shut for the day following the discovery of an alleged bomb on the store’s premises on Saturday morning.

Woolworths spokesperson Kirsten Hewett confirmed a “suspicious device” was found at the store on Saturday.

“As a precautionary measure, we immediately evacuated the store in order to ensure the safety of our people and our customers. Authorities were called in to investigate and assist with the matter,” said Hewett.

The discovery of the bomb on Saturday morning was at least the third in as many days after similar incidences at the Pavillion and Gateway on Thursday this week.

Hewett said Woolworths was taking the incident seriously.

“We can assure the public that we take these incidents in KZN incredibly seriously and we are doing all that we can to ensure the safety of our people and our customers. Due to the sensitivity of the investigation we are unable to divulge the additional protection and detection measures we have put in place in our stores. We continue to work closely with the relevant authorities who are providing input and guidance,” she said.

Earlier on Saturday, the SAPS explosives unit had raced to Gateway after a device was discovered.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane confirmed police had discovered a suspicious device at the mall on Saturday.

"The device was taken away by our Explosive Unit for further investigation. A case in terms of Explosive Act has been opened at Durban North police station for further investigation," he said.

On Saturday, Michelle Shelley, a spokesperson for Gateway, confirmed the incident and said law enforcement and centre operations teams were called the scene to investigate and assist with the incident.