Malawian man jailed in Pretoria for cable theft
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PRETORIA – The Pretoria Magistrate’s Court has found a 24-year-old Malawian man guilty, after he was arrested earlier this year by the Tshwane metro police department (TMPD) for possession of 80m of copper cable.
TMPD spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said the 24-year-old was arrested by the metro police’s cable theft unit on April 11.
“He was found guilty at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court and was sentenced to three years’ direct imprisonment. The TMPD welcomes the sentencing and hopes this will send a stern warning to those who are involved in cable theft,” Mahamba said.
“The TMPD has a team dedicated to combat cable theft and they would like to appeal to members of the public to play their part and assist the TMPD by reporting cable theft. The cable theft unit works around the clock to catch culprits and would appreciate any assistance from the public as this crime has devastating effects on communities.”
To report cable theft, community members in Tshwane can contact the TMPD on 012 358 7095/7096.
Cable theft and infrastructure vandalism across South Africa costs state-owned enterprises Eskom, Prasa and Transnet and partially state-owned Telkom R7 billion a year in direct losses, and the knock-on effect to the economy was about R187bn a year; the four companies said in a combined statement in July.
A slower economic recovery was inevitable if cable and infrastructure theft was not reduced, the entities said.
In the private sector, MTN and Vodacom, among other companies, have also been hit by cable theft and vandalism.