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Durban - Five people are expected to appear in the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court today for allegedly stealing copper belonging to the eThekwini Municipality worth more than R1 million.
Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said that on Saturday members of the Phoenix Tactical Response team had arrested the suspects, aged between 20 and 32, for being in possession of stolen copper cables.
The police had followed up on information which led them to a property at the Esikebheni area in Inanda.
“It was approximately 3am when the members swooped on the said homestead and searched all the houses. They found one house half-full of copper cables worth more than R1m,” he said.
Zwane said the copper had been identified as the city’s property. He said that it was believed that suspects were cutting the copper cables from electricity poles in the area.
“They will be charged for possession of stolen property,” he said.
Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni urged communities to continue working hand in hand with the with the police in order to win the “battle” against copper cable theft in the province.
City spokesman Thabo Mofokeng welcomed the arrest, saying that not only was copper theft a problem, but it also hindered service delivery.
“Cable theft costs the city a lot of money, impacts on the economy and leaves residents without electricity,” he said.
Mofokeng said the damage caused by cable theft to infrastructure ran to millions.
“We are once again appealing to communities to report suspicious activities that they may see happening in their areas,” he said.