MPUMALANGA – A two year Hawks led project has culminated in the arrest of ten suspects for alleged copper theft.
The suspects were arrested in various parts of the county on Monday by an integrated team which included the Hawks’ Non Ferrous Metals, Flash -Liquor and Second Hands services, Mpumalanga TRT, Middelburg Visible Policing, Home Affairs and Eskom participated
The project focused on the criminal supply chain of stolen copper cables within Mpumalanga and Gauteng Province mines and power stations as well as private or state owned properties.
The targeted areas included Kriel, Ogies, Blinkpan, Tsakane and Hendrina areas of Mpumalanga and Gauteng. The stolen loot was allegedly sold at the highest price to recycling companies.
On Monday the team arrested the ten suspects in Mpumalanga and Brakpan and Gauteng Province. During the swoop members found and confiscated copper cables valued at more than R600 000, weighing scales as well as a sizable amount of money.
The suspects Kas Pretorius (50), Boston Mthethwa (33), Frederick Harold Outram (35),Taron Petzer (21), Monica Mbinka (31), Nicolaas Jacob Swart (50), Salom William Madonsela (25) Jaco Redelinghuis (35), Jaco Redelinghuis (19) and Marlene Erstrhysn (30) appeared briefly before different courts in Mpumalanga and Gauteng on Tuesday.
All suspects were granted bail of between R1000 and R5000 and are expected in court again between the 04 January and 08 February 2019 facing charges of copper cable theft and dealing in line with the Second Hands Goods Act and Criminal Procedure Amendment Act.
The Provincial Head of the DPCI Major General Zodwa Mokoena has applauded the collaborative action as a huge success in the fight against theft of copper cables in the country.
“The operation spells hope for the mines and power stations that we are fully committed to eradicate theft of copper cables which is also causing danger to the runners whom some of them can get injured or die.
“We will continue teaming up with our partners and governments departments in carrying out our mandate and arrest those behind the serious spate of copper cables,” said Major General Mokoena.