Shoppers and staff gathered outside the gym at the Hillside Mall which had to be evacuated yesterday following a hoax bomb scare.

DURBAN - Another bomb scare which turned out to be a hoax angered police on Friday when they were called out to a gym at the Hillside shopping centre in Bluff. The gym had to be evacuated.

This followed a spate of incendiary devices recently found around Durban, mostly at Woolworths stores. Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane confirmed the Bluff incident. Zwane said police experts thoroughly searched the premises but nothing was found.

“A case of a bomb threat was opened at Brighton Beach police station for further investigation. We are appealing to members of the community to stop sending false information to the police about any bomb threats.

"Those who are doing this will face the full might of the law,” warned Zwane.

Since the first week of July, there had been several bomb threats around Durban, with incendiary devices found at Woolworths stores at the Gateway and Pavilion Malls, as well as a Woolworths store in the Durban CBD.

Two pipes bombs were also discovered in the vicinity of the Greyville Racecourse on the day of the Vodacom Durban July. Fictitious bomb scare alerts were also made at the Cornubia Mall, the Pavilion Shopping Centre and the Phoenix Police Station.

A suspicious device was also found at a Spar outlet in Wentworth.

This week, the Sunday Tribune spoke to former uMkhonto We Sizwe (MK) operatives about the recent incendiary devices found in Durban, as some of them had knowledge of making the devices. Raymond Sakloo, a former MK veteran who bombed the home of Minority Front leader Amichand Rajbansi in 1985 said those who were making the devices were “amateurs”.

“Those are not major devices and are not professionally made either. When we made devices during the apartheid era, they were strong devices and we knew exactly what to use. I was an explosive expert for the African National Congress so I know about such devices and I can say that the incendiary devices are not anything serious,” said Sakloo.

He said he was puzzled about why people planted these devices in Durban.

“When we made explosive devices, it was a matter of principle. It is hard to understand why anyone would do this now,” said Sakloo.

Matthew Lecordier, a former MK veteran, said he had not seen the present day devices, therefore, he was unable to comment about them.

“I only know what I have been reading in the news,” said Lecordier.

Meanwhile, a 36-year-old man was arrested on Monday at the Musjid Taqwa in Roshnee, Vereeniging, after a suspicious device was found in a bag left behind at the mosque. It turned out to be a hoax device.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE