Telkom offers R500,000 reward after alleged sabotage

Yesterday Telkom cables were destroyed, cutting off an estimated 6,000 customers.

Picture: Primedia.

JOHANNESBURG - Telkom is offering a R500,000 reward for information around what it claims are acts of sabotage at some of its facilities.

Telkom workers have been on strike since last week demanding an 11% pay increase, six months paid maternity leave and better transformation policies.

Yesterday Telkom cables were destroyed, cutting off customers.

The utility says at some sites specialist equipment was required to access fibre cables, which the firm says is not easily available to criminals.

Fibre cables were cut, ripped apart and in some instances set on fire.

Spokesperson Jacqui O'Sullivan says historically there's been a link between industrial action and sabotage.

"We are looking at about 6,000 customers that have been knocked off our network over the last 24 hours. These are customers who have now potentially had their homes and their businesses impacted by what is really a criminal act on the part of these saboteurs."

Meanwhile, the Communication Workers Union says insinuations that its Telkom affiliates have been involved in acts of sabotage should be backed up with evidence.

The union's Clyde Mervin says, "Our members that went on strike were very clear that they must abide by the law, and there is no way our members have been involved in sabotage. If there is something wrong, the union will have to investigate and find out."