By Neelam Rahim
A truck transporting Eskom aluminium overhead cables was hijacked nearly a month ago in Piketberg. An intensive joint operation led to the recovery of the stolen cables in Blackheath, the metropolis, on Monday.
“On May 29, a hijacking case was registered at Moorreesburg SAPS after a truck transporting Eskom aluminium overhead cables was hijacked in Piketberg.
“Following an intense investigation and surveillance, the suspects were identified in Cape Town, which led to the identification of the storage place in Trafford Street, Blackheath,” police spokesperson Ndakhe Gwala said.
Gwala said the premises were searched, and the rolls of aluminium cables were seized.
Eight suspects aged between 29 and 49 were arrested for possessing stolen goods and contravening the Second-Hand Goods Act.
The suspects will appear in the Blue Downs magistrate’s court on Wednesday.
According to News24, Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said four accused were released on bail. At the same time, three would remain in custody until their next appearance on July 5.
The accused are London Sonwabile Tshobeni, Zukisani Mvula, Marlan Christian, Knowledge Chivizhe, Anthony Christian, Mandela Mdluta, Moses Matamba and Neville Adams.
Tshobeni, Mvula and Chivizhe are understood to be getting to apply for bail at their next appearance.
Further afield, Fin24 reported last week that two security guards contracted to Eskom as a taxi driver were arrested after allegedly being caught with a minibus taxi stuffed with copper cable at an Eskom warehouse in Germiston.
“The Eskom in-house security personnel found the minibus taxi parked outside the storeroom loaded with the Eskom cable, and also the driver seated inside,” said Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha.
“The two are imagined to have spent the night cutting the cable into sizeable pieces that might fit into a minibus taxi.”
The three were denied bail, and therefore the taxi was also impounded.
Fin24 recently reported that infrastructure theft costs the economy R187 billion yearly.