Police were summoned to the town of Bethanie in the North West province after a shop owner allegedly heard the loud bang of explosives being used to bomb an ATM.
The incident happened in the early hours of Saturday morning, 6 February, stated North West SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone.
“[Upon] investigation, [the shop owner allegedly] saw four males at the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) which is [on] the same premises as the shop,” said Mokgwabone.
The alleged suspects include Bennet Rasike (21), Ernest Maguvo (34), Ernest Chauke (23), Saidi Chauke and Peter Motlhabe (40), who is a former police officer.
“The long arm of the law caught up with one of the accused later in the evening of the same day. That was after members on patrol came across a suspicious vehicle with only the driver inside and stopped it,” informed Mokgwabone.
Motlhabe, who was the driver of the vehicle, was then taken to a police station for further questioning after four fifty rand dye stained and damaged notes were found in his possession.
“[Motlhabe] subsequently led the police to Plastic View informal settlement in Rustenburg where another four accused were arrested,” Mokgwabone stated.
Mokgwabone further informed that during the arrest, R3 700 dye stained notes were confiscated.
The five accused were remanded in custody for negligence causing an explosion and endangering property (ATM bombing).
One of the accused, Saidi Chauke had additional charges against him, including possession of firearm and possession of six live ammunition and explosives.
The suspects will make their second appearance in the Brits Magistrate’s Court on 16 February.