Security staff nabbed for cable theft in Mpumalanga

Security staff nabbed for cable theft in Mpumalanga

Security staff deployed to protect a Eskom line in Mpumalanga have been arrested for cable theft.

copper cables

Eskom said on Wednesday a total of 14 people were arrested and are believed to be part of a cable theft syndicate. 

The arrests come after power utility Eskom experienced several theft and vandalism incidents on the 400kV Vulcan transmission line.

Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha says this led Eskom to declare a "major incident" as a result of the extensive damage, loss of supply to thousands of customers and increased safety risks.

"Towers on the line were twisted and severely damaged and the roads in the region were also blocked with the fallen electrical lines, which also put lives in danger."

Further investigations led the team to a metal dealer in eMalahleni, where large amounts of copper cables were found loaded on a truck that was ready to off-load at the facility.

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The truck driver was arrested and led police to a residential property in Vosman where he had collected the stolen cables earlier.

"More copper cables were found at the premises, all of which were prepared and ready for shipment."

"Further investigations revealed that some security personnel deployed to protect the Eskom line were also involved with the syndicate."

Eskom's acting CEO Calib Cassim has sent out a stern warning to those involved in cable theft syndicates. 

He says all suspects involved in this sort of network will be traced and found. 

"We shall assist the Hawks in tracing every individual who participates in the criminal enterprise and ensure prosecution."

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