The Menlyn Maine Complex in Pretoria was the sight of unmitigated chaos on Tuesday afternoon. A man threatening to bomb the mall made his way inside an Absa bank and demanded R10 million from terrified staff.
Menyn Maine bomb threat – latest news:
The desperate criminal, who has since been arrested, put the Gauteng-based facility on red alert. The entire venue was evacuated around 11:00 as news of the hold-up spread across the region. Thankfully, no injuries or fatalities have been reported and there are no accomplices in this incident.
Menlyn Maine Pretoria evacuated. Man in a bank demanding R10m…and threatening to bomb the complex.
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) September 17, 2019
Menlyn Maine bank robbery foiled
The crazed heist drew a large security presence, including a bomb squad and several emergency service crews. Emer-G-Med were amongst the first responders, and they confirmed to us that the complex was still being searched for explosives at 14:00. An invesitgation into the matter has already begun.
The alleged bombs were, according to the suspect, strategically located inside the bank. The police are inspecting the entire building, though. Sweeping a location as big as Menlyn will take some time. Crowds were made to gather at a safe location away from the bank.
A man has held employees hostage at ABSA bank in Pretoria, South Africa, demanding R10 million and threatening to detonate bombs he claims to have planted around a mall near the bank.
The Menlyn Maine Central Square close to the bank has been evacuated. pic.twitter.com/foyqRlzvcu
— Africa Facts Zone (@AfricaFactsZone) September 17, 2019
Chaotic scenes in Pretoria
Meanwhile, anti-crime advocate Yusuf Abramjee also confirmed to us that there was a demand for a ransom, and that the threat to detonate explosives was made. We are still awaiting further confirmation regarding the details of this story.
《Pretoria 》#M05 and #A05 responded to an evacuation and Bomb treat at Menlyn Maine. All services are on scene waiting for the Bomb squad to give all clear. @GTP_Traffstats @EWNTraffic @_ArriveAlive #whensecondscount #pretoria pic.twitter.com/ckKXtElZfI
— EMER-G-MED (@EMER_G_MED) September 17, 2019
SAPS went on to issue a statement just after 14:20. They have stressed that the site is “not yet safe”, after a device was indeed found at the complex. The police did not confirm the amount the armed man asked for:
“On Tuesday 17 September 2019 at around 11:15 an unknown man in his fifties entered a bank at the Menlyn Maine Shopping Centre. He handed a note over to the bank teller who assisted him. The note contained a threat to say that there is a bomb planted inside the bank.”
“The security immediately reacted and evacuated the whole shopping centre. The SAPS responded and arrested the man inside the bank. A firearm was confiscated. The SAPS bomb disposal and K9 units were called out and are still on the scene to inspect a device that was found. The shopping centre is not declared as safe yet.”