Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has again called for people who steal copper cables to be charged with economic sabotage.
Mbalula says the current practice in which criminals are charged with theft enables them to be released on bail, then steal again because cable theft is lucrative.
Briefing Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Transport – on the appointment of an administrator to turn Prasa on Tuesday – Mbalula said charging cable thieves with economic sabotage which is provided for in the legislation will work as a deterrent.
Mbalula says, “The majority of people we have arrested on our own as Prasa, are now facing charges and are employees. The guy who is transporting the electrician to go and install cables is the one who was stealing and they open factories in the townships to process.
Meanwhile, a man has died after falling from a pole while allegedly trying to steal tower batteries, transformer cables and oil in Mohokoni village outside Tzaneen in Limpopo.
Police say the suspect fell while trying to evade arrest after being cornered by police.
Police spokesperson Motlafela Majapelo says the man’s accomplices were arrested and will appear in the Bolobedu Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Majapelo says, “The police in Mokwakwaila outside Tzaneen have arrested three suspects for attempted to steal cell phone tower batteries and transformer cables. The fourth suspect died when he allegedly tried to evade the arrest by jumping from the transformer pole.”
In this video Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula calls for cable thieves to be charged with economic sabotage
A maximum sentence of 30 years for individuals and a fine of up to R100 million for corporate entities is prescribed. https://t.co/KHLn0ExxW5
— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) February 10, 2020