City of JHB cable thieves arrested

The arrests were made following a tip-off to the city’s Group Forensic Department on Tuesday afternoon.

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba at the scene where criminals were arrested by JMPD and the city's Group Forensics team for copper and water infrastructure thefts. Picture: @HermanMashaba.

JOHANNESBURG - Two people have been arrested for the cable theft that plunged a large portion of the City of Johannesburg into darkness.

The arrests were made following a tip-off to the city’s Group Forensic Department on Tuesday afternoon.

City Power has told Eyewitness News it will cost the utility around R15 million to replace the cables that were stolen.

Authorities believe a cable theft syndicate struck again over the weekend, gaining access to the underground tunnels where they made off with dozens of copper cables.

Inner City Gazette Journalist Moses Moyo was on the scene.

“The City of Johannesburg has just arrested two individuals that are responsible for cable theft and tons of copper cables have been recovered. It’s a massive arrest and there is so much stolen goods in this yard.”

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba was also there. He says the amount of copper found is staggering.

“The city’s cables have now been found and we’ve got the culprits, [they are] people from India and other parts of the world who are in this country illegally.”

'ECONOMIC SABOTAGE'

Mashaba has described the cable theft that plunged a large part of the CBD into darkness as economic sabotage.

“This is economic sabotage of the highest order. As I am talking to you now our residents in the inner city have been without power for the last 72 hours or so.”

Additional reporting by Masa Kekana.