City Power staffer accused of tampering with meter, tries to extort money from customer to ’fix’ it
Johannesburg - A City Power employee has been arrested for allegedly tampering with the meter of a business he had visited under the pretence of auditing it, then trying to extort money from the owner to “fix” it.
However, the businessman became suspicious. He locked the man inside the shop and called police, who managed to get the truth from the man and arrested him.
According to City Power’s Isaac Mangena, the 37-year-old employee went to the business situated in Troyeville, east of Joburg, on Friday, then lied to the owner that he was there to audit the meter.
After fiddling with the meter box, the employee is said to have demanded about R780 to reconnect the customer.
“The quick-thinking customer locked the City Power staffer inside the shop and called law enforcement agencies.
“City of Joburg's Group Forensics and Johannesburg Metro Police Department responded and arrested the suspect.
“He allegedly confessed that he was not authorised to do an audit on the customer’s meter, as he didn’t have a job card,” Mangena said.
The man was arrested and charged with fraud, malicious damage to property and contravention of Section 3(a) of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act.
City Power chief executive Mongezi Ntsokolo welcomed the arrest of the employee and said that it should serve as a warning to other staff members that their job was to provide a service to the residents and not to steal from them.
Ntsokolo said City Power had zero tolerance for corruption and fraud, and that more internal action would be taken against any staff member found to be engaged in criminal activities.
“We will not tolerate any mischief from our staff members or contractors.
“We believe that there are more of our members who engage in these illegal activities. We call on other customers to desist from bribing our employers and rather report them when they ask for money, to the police or our security," said Ntsokolo.