A suspected cable thief and a metro police dog were electrocuted during a chase in Bellair on Wednesday.
The dog’s handler, who was also shocked, was discharged from hospital later on Wednesday.
EThekwini Municipality spokesman Thabo Mofokeng said Sergeant Shawn Jooste and his dog, Khulu, of the metro police’s dog unit, were responding to cable theft in the M7 informal settlement in Bellair.
“Jooste and Khulu entered the bush abutting the M7 between the Engen petrol station and Umbilo River, assisting the SAPS Dog Unit in search of a group of suspects wanted for cable theft and assault,” he said.
After the dog unit made an arrest, Jooste continued the search, leading him through the Umbilo River in the vicinity of the Portuguese Club towards Wakesley Road.
During the pursuit the suspect, with Khulu giving chase, ran into illegal and unprotected electricity cables leading to an informal settlement.
“They were both electrocuted,” said Mofokeng, adding that Jooste was also shocked when he tried to untangle the cables binding Khulu and the suspect.
Jooste rushed Khulu to the police vet, but they were unable to resuscitate him.
“Jooste was taken to St Augustine’s Hospital for treatment and was discharged on Wednesday,” said Mofokeng.
He said Jooste was upset about losing Khulu.
An arrested 19-year-old suspect is to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court “soon”.