TWO people were killed and five others injured when a bomb exploded in Bedfordview, Ekurhuleni, near the Eastgate shopping mall on Tuesday afternoon, emergency services said.
"There is a confirmed explosion. As to what caused the explosion, it is unconfirmed for now," said spokesman 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 (have) minor injuries."
Mr Ntladi said the explosion took place on the corner of Bradford and Nicol roads, and the intersection was closed to traffic. Police and emergency management services were on the scene.
Eyewitness News reported the blast was at a shop owned by businessman Radovan Krejcir, who is fighting his extradition to the Czech Republic where he is facing a prison sentence.
It tweeted pictures of a Money Point gold and diamond exchange with its windows shattered.
News agency Sapa was unable to reach Krejcir on his cellphone on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr Krejcir, who came to South Africa in 2007, has been accused of involvement in organised crime. He applied for asylum but this was refused. He then appealed to the Refugee Appeal Board against the decision.
He has been sentenced to 11 years in jail in his home country for money laundering. However, local charges were withdrawn because of a lack of evidence, the National Prosecuting Authority said in December last year.
In July this year, he was the target of an apparent bid to kill him outside his Bedfordview office. Police said at the time that an explosive device was detonated from the back of a stolen car parked close to Mr Krejcir’s vehicle in the parking lot of Money Point’s head office. He escaped unharmed.
About three weeks earlier, Mr Krejcir’s Bedfordview business was burgled and jewellery worth R3m was stolen.
Sapa with Staff Writer