Mpumalanga 'fuel thieves' severely burnt at pipeline

Two arrests were made for the alleged theft of fuel from a pipeline.
Two arrests were made for the alleged theft of fuel from a pipeline.
SAPS

Two people have been arrested for the alleged theft of fuel from a pipeline in Mpumalanga. They sustained serious burns during the alleged theft.

The arrests were made at Kendal near Phola by employees of Fidelity Security on Thursday night, Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi said.

The pair, aged 28 and 39, were arrested after the Transnet control room detected a fuel pressure drop on the pipeline.

"Authorities responded to the identified spot and apprehended one suspect, who attempted to run away. He had fresh burn marks all over his body. There was a big fire in the maize field nearby and upon inspection they realised that the flames [were] from the burning Transnet pipeline," Sekgotodi said.

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The incident was reported to local police and the Hawks' Serious Organised Crime Investigation team.

"Following an intensive search, a second suspect, who was also badly burnt, was apprehended after he was found hiding under a bridge," Sekgotodi said.

They were treated at the scene, transported to hospital and were under police guard.

They were expected to appear in the Phola Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of malicious damage to property, tampering with essential infrastructure and theft of fuel.

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