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Pretoria North residents say there has been a surge in cable theft

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Pretoria North residents say there’s been a surge of cable theft in their areas which has resulted in frequent power outages and damage to essential infrastructure. The latest incident occurred recently where thieves were caught stripping a substation in Amandasig.

They were allegedly assaulted by an angry mob, resulting in the death of one of the suspected thieves. The other sustained injuries and was taken to hospital for medical treatment. Police are investigating a case of murder, assault and attempted murder.

This substation has reportedly been targeted and vandalized by cable thieves on numerous occasions causing continuous blackouts for residents in the area.

Recently, two suspected thieves were caught digging a trench that exposed the cables. Enraged members of the community allegedly took matters into their own hands, beating both men to a pulp.

One succumbed to his injuries and the other was taken to hospital for medical treatment. A resident who spoke anonymously says they’ve been under siege for a long period.

“Incidents have spiked over the past years subjecting residents to extended power outages,” a resident says.

He’s added that a syndicate is believed to be involved.

“A syndicate is apparently involved and they’re armed so we don’t have any hope as residents that the problem will be sorted anytime soon,” a resident explains.

Another resident says he’s afraid of putting his life in danger as the ringleader is known. Tshwane municipality officials say an assessment is yet to be conducted to determine the extent of the damage caused at the substation.

They’ve urged members of the community to report any suspicious activities to the Tshwane Metro Police 24-hour line or the Cable Theft hotline on 080 011 2722.

Meanwhile, Gauteng police are still investigating the matter.

“Police found two men allegedly assaulted by members of the community for digging the cable. One was declared dead on the scene and the other was arrested and taken to hospital for medical assistance and a case of murder and attempted murder has been opened,” says Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi of Gauteng SAPS.

The community policing forum earlier indicated that the situation was part of a bigger problem faced by communities in most parts of the country.

Last year in October, the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court sentenced two Zimbabwean nationals to ten years of direct imprisonment each, after they were convicted for tampering with essential infrastructure.

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