A 22-year-old man, suspected of making bomb threats to banks, was tracked down and arrested at his workplace in Polokwane last Wednesday evening by members of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), who seized cell phones, sim cards, a computer and documents.
Abdullah Ramakgadi’s arrest followed an investigation by the Gauteng Hawks. The suspect was arrested for allegedly making several bomb threats to two banks, First National and Standard Bank. He allegedly asked the banks to close the account of a certain trust fund, the name of which will be released during his court case.
The suspect allegedly made numerous bomb threats in August claiming he had planted explosive devices which necessitated the buildings to be evacuated and closed for at least a day, resulting in losses apparently amounting to millions of Rand. No explosives devices were located during the search of the two extensive buildings, whilst investigations were already at an advanced stage to identify the caller.
The suspect appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges under the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act 33 OF 2004 because of the threat to place and discharge or detonate explosives or any other lethal device.
National Head of the Hawks, Berning Ntlemeza reportedly stated: “The Hawks takes threats of violence very seriously. Make no mistake we investigate these incidents, and those found responsible will be subject to arrest and full prosecution no matter where they are located.”
Hangwani Mulaudzi, Spokesperson for the Hawks informed that Ramakgadi’s case was postponed to tomorrow (Friday), when he will apply for legal aid.
Story: NELIE ERASMUS