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29 November 2011

No bomb at Eastgate: Petros

The device found in a box at Eastgate on Monday was not a bomb, said Gauteng police chief Lieutenant-General Mzwandile Petros.

The box was found to contain "just electrical wires," he said in a telephonic interview.

The police had detonated it because this was protocol when dealing with a suspicious device of this nature.

He said police believed the person who placed it outside the jewellery shop where it was found had intended robbing the shop.

Police were following leads, but had not yet made any arrests.

Gauteng police reported earlier that the package was indeed a bomb.

In a statement on Monday night, Eastgate management said security would be upped following the discovery.

"Whilst today's events may have left the public shaken, centre management can confirm that customer safety and security is of the highest priority at Eastgate," it said.

The box of wires was found at 11am after security was alerted to an unattended package.

Captain Katlego Mogale said the bomb disposal unit removed it from the centre for safe detonation.

Eastgate management said this was the cause of a loud noise heard in the vicinity.

The shopping centre was evacuated after the find, but was reopened at 2pm.

- The Times Live