Skip to main content

The boy‚ the letter and the bullet - chilling missive warns of bomb

| Crime and security

The people who planted a suspicious device inside the Spar in Durban’s Wentworth suburb had demanded a ransom – and used a 10-year-old boy to deliver a chilling message that there was a bomb hidden somewhere in the busy shop.

Well-placed police sources‚ who spoke to TimesLIVE on condition of anonymity‚ said that the boy had been sent to the Spar by persons unknown.

The child had given the manager on duty a brown envelope containing a bullet and a handwritten letter with instructions to place money in a bag and leave it outside the shop and not to call the police. If the manager failed to do this‚ the letter said‚ the bomb set inside the store would explode.

It is understood that the store manager had taken the boy and the letter to the Wentworth police station‚ prompting a reaction from police who descended on the shop and cleared it of customers.

The police’s explosives unit was then called in and during a sweep of the shop‚ guided by the keen nose of a search dog‚ found a black plastic bag near the tills at the entrance of the spar.

The parcel was destroyed by the Unit in a controlled detonation‚ sending shockwaves through the neighbouring homes.

Police spokesman Brigadier Vish Naidoo said that the explosives unit was called to the scene to examine a suspicious device‚ but that it proved to be “negative”.

He issued the following warning: “We view these threats in a serious light and people caught can be criminally prosecuted.”

He called on anyone with information on the improvised devices‚ or anyone who had information on future events‚ to contact the police on 0860010111.

The device would be the sixth after a series of devices were discovered at shopping malls and parked cars in the past five days.

At the weekend‚ two devices planted beneath parked cars on the fringes of the Durban July were triggered‚ causing minor fires.

On Thursday last week two similar devices‚ one planted in the Gateway outlet and the other in the Pavilion‚ were detonated‚ causing fires.

The Gateway outlet was evacuated again on Saturday when a pipe bomb was found and later defused by bomb technicians.


Six explosive devices have been planted at various locations around Durban in the past few days, targeting popular shopping malls and social events. Here is what we know so far about these devices.

Pin It

Related Articles

By: News24 The police have noted with concern a recent spate of shoplifting incidents. Shop owners and assistants are urged to adhere to the following safety hints.
The National Consumer Commission (NCC) says it has noticed a spike in schemes and scams that leave South Africans out of pocket, including con artists impersonating companies, investment and financial scams and pyramid schemes.
By:  Nick Wilson – News24 Shoprite, SA’s largest retailer, says it has dealt a major blow against crime over the past three years, securing over 1 700 years of prison time – including 24 life sentences – for criminals.
Despite the continued reports about the tough economic environment facing South African consumers and the fact that disposable income is steadily decreasing, South Africans are still enjoying Black Friday sales.
The South African fraud landscape is becoming increasingly risky as fraudsters and scammers look to target individuals with highly sophisticated scams in an environment where it is becoming increasingly difficult for lawmakers and authorities to b...