Gay bar bomb 'was home-made'

By Norman Joseph Time of article published Nov 8, 1999

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Police investigating the powerful bomb blast in a Green Point gay bar which injured nine people at the weekend, say the device was clearly home-made.

The explosion ripped through the busy Blah Bar, a gay club in Somerset Road, just after midnight on Friday, sending glass and shrapnel flying. Police Violent Crime Unit investigators, working around the clock, found that the bomb was a home-made device. Further tests of debris will also be done.

Police spokesperson Neville Malila said that the bomb detonated inside the bar, about 7 metres from the entrance. The position of the bomb behind an internal wall probably limited injuries and damage.

The injured were taken to City Park and Somerset hospitals, where most were treated for shrapnel wounds and minor burns. But two of the injured needed surgery.

Malila said that all possibilities, including Pagad, were being probed. But Pagad spokesperson Cassiem Parker countered by saying after the Planet Hollywood blast at the V&A Waterfront, Pagad was widely accused of being responsible, and members were arrested. "It came to nothing, but the allegations are still floating around," he said.

City Park Hospital spokesperson Elaine Gerber said one patient was in a serious but stable condition. Three other victims were still in the hospital and five had been discharged on Saturday.

She said family members of victims had asked that that no details of the injured be published because they were traumatised.

Blah Bar co-owner Glynn Delaney said that everybody was still shocked at what had happened. She said the damage could run into thousands of rands, but that she hoped the bar would re-open in about two weeks.

Delaney said a stringent security plan - which might include guards and bouncers - would be worked out.

Saleem Mowzer, the City of Cape Town's executive committee chairperson, said the council strongly condemned the act of violence on the people of Cape Town.

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