Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the tampering with infrastructure in Ekurhuleni.
The video circulating on social media shows suspects allegedly uprooting and stealing copper cables in Reiger Park, right in front of the local police station on Wednesday.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mavela Masondo told The Citizen, they have opened a case of theft and tampering with essential infrastructure.
“Police received information that there were people who are digging and stealing copper in Reiger Park. Police and Public Order Policing responded to the scene and on arrival, the group ran in different directions.”
“Police found digging tools and some copper cables abandoned. A case of theft and tampering with essential infrastructure was opened for investigation. No arrests have been made yet,” Masondo said.
Masondo said the officers in the video did react to the theft of the cables at the time of the incident despite the clip showing otherwise.
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Heavily armed men
Meanwhile, Johannesburg City Power CEO Tshifularo Mashava commended the work by the security and law enforcement agencies against cable thieves following the foiling of a cable theft incident on Friday.
Spokesperson Isaac Mangena said the “heavily armed mob of suspects” tried to break the concrete barrier on M1 double-decker to access the integral cable feeding power from Fordsburg through the underground tunnels to Braamfontein.
“The suspects were proactively detected by our security and cornered to effect arrests. However, the heavily armed mob of suspects retaliated by discharging live ammunition, forcing our security to retreat.”
Cable theft has become a chronic problem in the country.
Last week, City Power said it had been allocated R300 million for the fight against cable theft and infrastructure vandalism.
The entity recorded about 33 incidents of vandalism and cable theft last week alone, in different parts of the province which included several mini-substations that were vandalized in different areas.
“We still urge residents to be vigilant and appeal to them to continue being the custodians of the electricity infrastructure and report any suspicious activities around it,” Mashava said.
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