Picture: James Mahlokwane

Pretoria - The police are expected to charge a middle-aged man who threatened to have hid a bomb inside a bank at the Menlyn Maine Shopping Centre, said police spokesperson Captain Colette Weilbach.

Explosives experts discovered that his device was just a fake bomb with gun powder put on top of it. 

The man walked in the bank before noon and demanded an undisclosed amount from a teller who assisted him.

Weilbach said the Grassfontein resident tried to disguise himself with a wig while he was inside the bank. 

A crowd of workers from the shopping centre gathered outside the police van that transported him to the police station.

They took photos and videos of the suspect, but the man did not seem bothered by the attention and even waved at them.

Weilbach said once the staff member hit the panic button, the security immediately reacted and evacuated the whole shopping centre. SAPS responded and arrested the man inside the bank and his firearm was confiscated.

The SAPS bomb disposal and K9 units were called out and are still on the scene. The shopping centre has not been declared as safe yet.

The man will be charged with contravention of the Explosive Act No 26 of 1956 for making a false threat. He is set to appear in the Hatfield Community Court.

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Pretoria News