The Kriel Magistrate Court has recently sent a stern warning to all those involved in infrastructure theft when it sentenced Andries Koos Mahlangu, convicted of cable theft, to three years in prison.
The South African state-owned power utility, Eskom, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.
Cable thief faces justice system
Mahlangu was arrested by the Kriel SAPS on 29 October 2016, after he and his two accomplices, who managed to escape the incident scene, were found in possession of approximately 50 meters of copper cable outside Eskom’s Matla Power Station, in Mpumalanga.
The divisional executive for security at Eskom, Tebogo Rakau, said: “We are satisfied with the outcome of this case. The sentence sends a message to would-be criminals and those already involved in cable theft that the law views this crime in a very serious light, and that the penalty for those who are caught can be severe.
“It might seem like the only victims of cable theft are organisations like Eskom and municipalities who have to bear the cost of replacing stolen cable and damaged infrastructure.
Rakau added: “But the effects suffered by society can be even worse, including prolonged power outages which impact businesses, and ultimately lead to loss of productivity 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.” Read more…
Criminal Law Amendment Act
In December 2015, President Jacob Zuma signed into legislation the Criminal Law Amendment Act.
[quote]Under this Act, the theft of ferrous and non-ferrous metals is classified as infrastructure crime and carries a minimum prison sentence of no less than three years for a first-time offender, five years for a second offence and no less than seven years for a third offence.
Rakau thanked all those who have assisted the power utility in the fight against cable and electricity theft. He also urges more people to come forward and report these crimes and perpetrators. Read more…
“We urge all South Africans to play a role in the fight against these under reported but serious crimes by sending their anonymous SMS tip-offs to Crime Line on 32211. It is about time that we all played a role in halting the perpetrators of infrastructure and electricity theft in their tracks and bring them to book,” Rakau concluded.