Five arrested for stolen copper cables

2014-10-18 20:30

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Johannesburg - Police on Saturday could not confirm reports that five arrested copper cable thieves were allegedly those responsible for the recent water crisis in Gauteng.

"I don't have anything on that, but the police will investigate obviously," said Captain Lydia Mtila-Dikolomela.

Last month, Water Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said that more than a week's disruption of water supply in the province had been caused by stolen copper cable needed for pump stations to operate.

"Issues of cable theft should be dealt with as economic sabotage," she said at the time.

The Saturday Star reported on allegations that those arrested were part of a syndicate that had stolen the copper cables cited as a reason for the water shortages in the province.

The arrests took place at a scrapyard dealer's in Robertville, Florida on Friday morning after a tip-off was passed on to the police.

Those arrested - in possession of allegedly stolen cable worth R100 000 - include the owner of the business and four employees.

The owner is also facing a charge of bribery after he allegedly offered police R30 000 for the arrests not to take place.

City Power and Eskom were also on the scene: "They positively identified the cable as theirs".

The men are currently in police custody and will appear shortly in the Roodepoort Magistrate Court.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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