Guards arrested for stealing thousands of litres of diesel at Eskom power station

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Two security guards employed by a company contracted by Eskom to protect the Port Rex power station in East London were arrested on Monday for allegedly stealing almost 6 000 litres of diesel.

According to Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha, the guards were arrested while on duty. The stolen diesel is valued at just under R146 000.

"Through internal investigations, it was established that the ... security guards permitted a vehicle to collect the stolen diesel from the site during the night shifts, and for which they were paid in return," Mantshantsha said.

The internal investigations were supported by the Bidvest Protea Coin Investigation Team and the SA Police Service, who arrested the two security guards a few days after Eskom laid criminal charges for the theft of diesel. The two suspects will appear in the East London Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Karen Pillay, general manager for security at Eskom, said it was "appalling that the individuals entrusted with the responsibilities of safeguarding our infrastructure resort to such acts of malfeasance". She described the arrests as "another significant step in our fight against crime in Eskom".

According to Eskom, investigations are ongoing to identify other suspects, and the outcome thereof will determine further actions to be taken against the contracted security company. 

Earlier this month, a truck driver was arrested at Eskom’s Camden station in Mpumalanga for allegedly tampering with coal, while a contractor working at Camden power station was arrested on 15 November after being positively linked to an incident of sabotage

Following the most recent arrests, Eskom said it would provide the required support to the authorities to ensure that the suspects are successfully prosecuted and that the "maximum permissible sanction is meted out".

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