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JHB businessman in court for cable theft

Police arrested the man after he allegedly offered a bribe when police found copper cables in his possession.

FILE: Stolen copper cables recovered at a scrap metal dealer in Roodepoort. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - A wealthy Johannesburg businessman is appearing in court today along with four other people, for allegedly buying stolen copper cables.

It's widely speculated the stolen copper is linked to the recent water crisis in Gauteng.

Last month, Minister of Water Affairs and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane said the disruption of water supply in the province had been caused by cable theft.

On Friday, the businessman and his alleged accomplices were found in possession of the copper cable at a scrapyard on the West Rand.

The man allegedly tried to evade arrest by offering police a bribe.

Police have confirmed he tried to bribe the officers with R30,000, but they refused the payment and arrested him on the scene.

It's understood the man owns a house in Atholl worth more than R10 million and is apparently involved or heads a copper cable syndicate.

While it's unclear at this stage exactly where the copper comes from, there are sources who believe that it's the copper that was stolen ahead of the water crisis last month.

The men have been charged at the Roodepoort Magistrates court this morning.

Police are still investigating.