Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Woolworths has confirmed that another incendiary device was found at a Durban store on Thursday.

Spokesperson Kirsten Hewett said: "We can confirm another incendiary device was found in our West Street store today. As a precautionary measure‚ we immediately evacuated the store in order to ensure the safety of our people and our customers. Authorities have been called in to investigate.

"We are shocked by the recent incidences in KwaZulu-Natal‚ both within our stores as well as in the broader community. We have already put in place numerous protection and detection measures to ensure the safety of our people and our customers."

In the past two weeks several incendiary devices were planted at other Woolworths stores in the city as well as at the Vodacom Durban July. Those devices‚ rudimentary in nature‚ have since been triggered and caused minor fires.

Hewett said a team comprising the South African Police Service (SAPS)‚ the Hawks and their own internal investigators were working closely on this matter.

"Our customers will see more visible security measures within all our KwaZulu-Natal stores and we appreciate their patience and understanding for any inconvenience caused by these additional measures."

National SAPS spokesperson Brig Vish Naidoo confirmed that a device had been found and that it had been neutralised. He said police had responded earlier in the day to two other hoax calls relating to suspicious devices.

Members of the Explosives Unit found a parcel that contained old fireworks at an Engen garage and Woolworth convenience store, in Umhlanga. They also received a call about a parcel in Pine Street.

The discovery of yet another device come in the wake of a call by the chairman of Parliaments portfolio committee on police‚ Francois Beukman‚ for intensified intelligence gathering backed by proactive interventions to deal with the increasing number of hoax bomb threats‚ mainly in KwaZulu-Natal.

"Crime intelligence has to play a greater strategic role if this trend is to be curtailed. It is unacceptable that the people of SA are prevented from living their daily lives because of these threats. The SAPS must ensure that people go about their daily chores without fear‚" Beukman said.

He said the committee also appealed to members of the community to work with the SAPS and provide information so that these threats are stopped.

Beukman said when Parliament resumed in August, it would ask the police to provide a detailed briefing on the bomb threats‚ as well as an update on various cases occurring in mosques around the country.

Two men were killed in a mosque attack in Malmesbury‚ Cape Town‚ in June while one person was killed and two others stabbed at a mosque in Verulam in May.