MTN’s head office in Fairland in north-western Johannesburg was evacuated on Monday morning following an apparent bomb scare. Employees have since returned to work after the threat was declared a hoax.
Employees began tweeting about the incident shortly after 10am, with one saying: “Bomb scare at #MTN a false alarm … employees cleared to return to work.”
“MTN earlier today received a call concerning the safety of its property on 14th Avenue in Fairland, Johannesburg,” the company said in a statement in response to a query from TechCentral. “The matter has been duly handed over to the SA Police Service for further investigation.”
MTN SA MD Karel Pienaar said the SA Police Service and the Johannesburg Metro Police responded quickly and efficiently to the threat. “Operations at our … head office are currently running smoothly,” he said.
Monday’s evacuation follows a report in Nigeria’s Vanguard newspaper at the weekend which said a militant Nigerian grouping called the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) had threatened to bomb SA groups MTN and Sacoil because of “alleged interference of President Jacob Zuma in its struggle for justice in the Niger Delta”.
The newspaper quoted Mend as warning: “In the dark days to come, MTN, Sacoil and other SA investments will pay a heavy price for the interference of Jacob Zuma in the legitimate fight for justice in the Niger Delta by its people. The SA president has reduced himself to the position of a hired thug for [Nigerian president] Goodluck Jonathan.”
It’s not known whether Monday’s security scare was related to the threats by Mend. — Staff reporter, TechCentral
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