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Five busted for copper cable theft
Monday, 04 December 2017: Five suspects have been arrested in Mooinooi next to the Samancor Chrome Mine in the North-West province, for damaging Eskom’s essential infrastructure, valued at approximately R1 million.
 
The arrests took place after Eskom’s investigation team, deployed in Rustenburg, caught two suspects while they were busy cutting aluminium cable from a network line that was lying on the ground.
 
The suspects had earlier cut seven wooden poles from the lines which caused the network line to collapse. After receiving back-up from their colleagues, the Eskom investigation team searched the area and found 3375 meters of aluminium cable under a tree in the bush.
 
Upon further investigation, three more suspects who were meant to transport the stolen Eskom material, travelling in a motor vehicle, were apprehended. The five suspects were all detained and a case of damaging/tampering with Eskom’s essential infrastructure was opened at the Mooinooi Police Station. The case remains under investigation by Mooinooi detectives.
 
The arrest of the five suspects came after a sequence of aluminium conductor theft in the Mooinooi and Marikana areas, where suspects had gone undetected for number of months.
 
“Even though the thieves were ultimately apprehended, significant damage to important infrastructure had already occurred and this has far-reaching effects. It is not only power supply that is affected. Other essential services such as water supply, healthcare services and learning at schools are also disrupted when electricity infrastructure like power lines and transformers is damaged or stolen. Innocent people, particularly children, as well as animals can also be exposed to danger and even die when they get into contact with low-hanging cables left behind by infrastructure thieves,” Tebogo Rakau, Divisional Executive for Security at Eskom said.
 
“While Eskom remains resolute in the fight against cable theft, we implore each resident to play their part in protecting the public infrastructure that we all benefit from. This can be done by reporting those involved in this crime by sending anonymous SMS tip-offs to Crime Line on 32211,” Rakau concluded.
 
ENDS