2300 convictions for crimes against the state since 2019: Cele

Cele was replying to MPs questions
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Police Minister Bheki Cele says the Hawks have made over 28 000 arrests, leading to 2 300 convictions for damage to essential infrastructure and crimes against the state since 2019.

This is in relation to the theft of fuel from the Transnet pipeline as well as damage to, and sabotage of, essential infrastructure.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question from Congress of the People (COPE) MP Teboho Loate, Cele points out that 20 Economic Infrastructure Task Teams (EITT) have been established countrywide.

“The country has suffered severe economic damage due to these crimes. Thousands of workers and other users have been left stranded as trains cannot run due to cable theft. In some areas, residents have been left without electricity for days as powerlines are sabotaged. Transnet has reported serious losses as thieves syphon off fuel from their pipeline network.”

In the written reply, Cele also says that over 900 personnel for the Economic Infrastructure Task Teams have been recruited from existing structures within provinces, districts, and stations. He adds that the SAPS is investigating the viability of turning these EITTs into permanent’s Economic Infrastructure Units.”

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