Two people were killed and at least five others injured when a bomb exploded in Bedfordview near the Eastgate shopping mall on Tuesday afternoon, Ekurhuleni emergency services said.
"There is a confirmed explosion. As to what caused the explosion, it is unconfirmed for now," said spokesperson William Ntladi
"It is confirmed now two people died on scene and three are critically injured. They have been taken to Bedford Gardens hospital, and the other two with minor injuries."
He said the explosion took place on the corner of Bradford and Nicol road. "What we can confirm is the intersection is totally closed to traffic for security reasons."
Eyewitness News reported the blast was at a shop owned by Czech businessperson Radovan Krejcir, who is currently fighting his extradition to the Czech Republic where he is facing a prison sentence.
On Tuesday evening, police did not know the whereabouts of Krejcir following the explosion. "The scene is still a lock down. Our forensic experts and the bomb squad are still combing the scene," Brigadier Neville Malila told reporters.
Malila said police did not know whether there were still explosives inside the Money Point shop.
He said that while the information police had was limited, it was believed a person walked into the shop with a bag, with the bomb inside it.
"Shortly afterwards there was an explosion." He did not know how many people were inside the shop at the time of the explosion and police would go to the hospital to interview the injured.
A Sapa reporter on the scene said bystanders were unwilling to speak to reporters as they feared "mafia tactics".
Sapa was unable to reach Krecjir on his cellphone.
Previous attacks on Krejcir
Krejcir was the target in July of an apparent bid to kill him outside his Bedfordview office.
Bullets were fired from a parked car shortly after he arrived at his office.
Krejcir arrived for work at his gold and diamond exchange business premises and parked his Mercedes-Benz in his usual spot. While talking on his cellphone, he heard what he called “firecrackers” and a loud explosion.
The dozen shots came from an empty red VW polo across the parking lot. An automated 12-gauge firing mechanism was found after the Polo detonated. Krejcir escaped unharmed.
About three weeks before that, Krejcir's Bedfordview business was broken into and jewellery worth R3-million was stolen.
"It is on the same premises where an attempt to kill him was executed. On July 3, unknown suspects broke into the premises through the roof, cut open a safe, and stole jewellery worth approximately R3-million," Dlamini said at the time. – Sapa