The Western Cape High Court has handed down hefty sentences to five people on 50 counts of copper cable theft-related charges, power utility Eskom said in a statement on Thursday.
"The group was sentenced to a cumulative 1 250 years' imprisonment," the power utility said.
It said the shortest sentenced handed down by the court was 15 years for one of the counts the men faced.
This emanates from stolen copper cables belonging to both Eskom and Telkom that were stolen between 2016 and 2018 in the Namaqualand and Western Cape regions.
In addition, two others, who were charged in the same case, died during the trial and were subsequently found guilty posthumously.
Eskom's acting head of security, advocate Karen Pillay, said she hoped these hefty sentences would send a strong message to all potential thieves to refrain from targeting Eskom overhead and underground conductor cables."We shall work fearlessly and tirelessly with other industry role players and law enforcement agencies to ensure that all thieves involved in essential infrastructure crimes face the full might of the law," Pillay added.
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