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Man gets 15-year jail term for stealing 400 metres of Eskom’s copper cable

A North West man was convicted and sentenced for stealing copper cable. File picture: eThekwini Municipality.

A North West man was convicted and sentenced for stealing copper cable. File picture: eThekwini Municipality.

Published Sep 7, 2023

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A man who stole 400 metres of copper cable in Ga-Rankuwa, east of Brits, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

Ofentse Kau, 36, was sentenced at the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court after he pleaded guilty to stealing the copper cable.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said five years of the 15-year imprisonment sentence was suspended for a period of five years, this meant Kau would serve a 10-year imprisonment term.

"Kau’s conviction is a result of his apprehension by the Eskom security officers on October 20, 2022, after being spotted through surveillance cameras at the Ga-Rankuwa industrial site in possession of 400 metres of commercial copper cable, which was meant for replacement," said NPA spokesperson in North West division Henry Mamothame.

He said Kau was subsequently handed over to the police and charged with cable theft.

"He pleaded guilty to the offence, and the court also denied him bail," Mamothame said.

In aggravation of the sentence, prosecutor advocate Mummy Mosonodi urged the court to consider the load shedding crisis the country is experiencing as a result of cable theft.

She further alluded to the financial implications suffered by Eskom as a main service provider of electricity.

"Magistrate Marianne Wessel agreed with the state and imposed a 15-year jail term, with five years suspended for five years," he said.

Mamothame said the director of public prosecutions in the North West, Dr Rachel Makhari, lauded the prosecutor, Detective Sergeant Tshepo Phale, and the Eskom security officers for bringing the perpetrator to book.