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Serial offender sentenced for copper cable theft
Tuesday, 28 November: A serial offender, found guilty of copper cable theft by the Standerton Magistrate Court, was last week sentenced to one-year imprisonment, and a further six months suspended sentence.
Walter Basson, a former Eskom contractor, was arrested in March this year when copper items were found inside his vehicle by the Eskom investigation team which was conducting routine access control inspections on the site where he worked.  

According to court records, Basson has five previous convictions which include rape, housebreaking, theft, using a vehicle without the owner's consent as well as the illegal discharge of a firearm.
“This proves that criminals do not limit themselves to just one kind of crime. They run a criminal enterprise where, for instance, someone who is involved in vehicle theft is also involved in drug trafficking, exposing children to substances like nyaope and flakka that are destroying our communities, this is why we continuously appeal to all South Africans to help us bring these perpetrators to book,” said Tebogo Rakau, Divisional Executive for Security at Eskom.

Rakau said it might appear as though the only victims of cable theft are organisations like Eskom who have to bear the cost of replacing stolen cables and damaged infrastructure. But the effects that are suffered by society can be even worse, including prolonged power outages, which ultimately cause the shutdown of factories, loss of production time and job cuts. Unplanned power outages resulting from cable theft also affect healthcare services at clinics and endanger the lives of people who are on life support equipment at home.
Rakau thanked all those who have helped Eskom in the fight against cable and electricity theft, and urged more people to report these crimes by sending their anonymous SMS tip-offs to Crime Line on 32211.