Hawks to probe City Power 'terrorism'

Striking City Power staff suspected of sabotaging the electricity grid could face criminal charges.

Electricity pylon. Picture: Michelle Lubbe/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Striking City Power staff suspected of sabotaging the electricity grid will face criminal charges, Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau said on Friday.

Employees went on strike earlier this week over a new shift system.

This resulted in power outages and backlogs across the municipality.

Several parts of the city remain without electricity on Friday afternoon.

According to top officials from the city, some outages were deliberately caused by striking workers.

The Hawks have now been brought in to investigate the claims and Tau says he's taking the allegations very seriously.

"There is currently a discussion and we have people from organised crime currently at these offices, interacting with the teams and receiving detailed updates," he said.

Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko agreed that the city should prosecute anyone found guilty of sabotaging the grid.

She said the strike amounted to an act of terrorism.

"You can't afford a situation whereby Gauteng, if not South Africa at large, is being turned into a banana republic."

Mazibuko said the workers should have found a better way to make their demands heard.

"If a person is disgruntled, there are proper channels to take their grievances and they should not put the lives of people at risk."