saps banner
2023/10/16      |  Written By:  Brigadier S Mohlala   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

Nelspruit: 15 October 2023 - A 45 year old scrap metal business owner, Ben Jacobs and two employees attached to Rotex servicing Eskom at Kusile power station Thabang Nxumalo (42) and Jeremiah Mahlangu (48) were granted R1 500 bail each after a brief appearance at Ogies Magistrate's Court on Friday 13 October 2023. The trio were arrested in Kendal, Ogies on Thursday 12 October 2023 after copper cables and other metals were found in Jacobs property in Kendal.

According to information, the team of police officers and SANDF who are assigned to safeguard Eskom properties were conducting their normal patrol duties at Kendal power station when they spotted a suspicious looking Light Delivery Vehicle driving into one of the scrap metal business on Thursday at about 12:00. The team followed the vehicle. On the team's arrival, the LDV was indeed parked inside the yard. Also in the same premises there was a VW T-Cross.

The team was allowed to search both vehicles. Nothing was found in the LDV, but in the T-Cross two bags loaded with copper cables and three rolls of loose copper cables were found. The items were identified by Kusile where Nxumalo and Mahlangu work as their property. The owner of the T-Cross concerted to be the lawful owner of the copper cables and produced the proof of purchase. The copper cables were bought from the very same scrap metal business where the vehicle was found and had a receipt proving her statement.

Fifteen heavy green metals (Rollers) which were identified by the Kendal power station as the power utility's property were also found in the scrap yard. The scrap metal business owner Mr Jacobs and the two employees Mr Nxumalo and Mr Mahlangu were arrested hence their appearance in court. Nxumalo and Mahlangu were charged for damage to essential infrastructure and Jacobs was charged for possession of suspected stolen property.

Police cannot rule out possibilities of making more arrests as some of the names of people who sold Eskom properties to Jacobs appear in the items register.

The South African Police Service in Mpumalanga welcomed the arrest of the suspect's and commended the partnership between SAPS and SANDF members who formed a strong team to clampdown on those who target the power utility's properties.