Police are investigating after an Eskom contracted security officer was shot dead after him and six of his colleagues foiled a copper cable theft attempt at Eskom’s Customer Network Centre in Klipspruit, Soweto on Tuesday.
According to an Eskom statement, the seven security guards were driving out of the centre to return to their post at Mapetla substation when they were shot at by at least 30 “heavily armed suspects” during the early hours of Tuesday morning.
“It is alleged that the suspects were attempting to steal the City Power copper cable when the team of seven security officers drove towards them. Other security officers managed to escape unharmed,” the statement read.
Eskom's Safety, Health, Environment, Risk, and Quality manager in Gauteng, Kith Maitisa, said the incident warrants deep concern about the safety of its workers.
“Eskom sympathises with the family of the deceased security officer and is deeply concerned about such criminal acts that cost the life of a breadwinner.
“Our role is to provide safe and reliable electricity to customers, however, such acts have a negative impact on us achieving this obligation. We will not compromise the safety of our employees should their safety be at risk,” Maitisa said.
The state power utility said it continues to experience high volumes of theft of infrastructure “beyond what Eskom can handle” despite putting measures to mitigate theft.
“The unfortunate incident took place during a campaign which Eskom has embarked on to create awareness on the impact of electricity infrastructure vandalism and theft on the security of supply. The power utility condemns these acts of criminality and requests members of the public to provide information that can lead to the arrest and successful prosecution of those involved,” the power utility said.
Members of the public are encouraged to send any information to Eskom’s crime line on 0800 11 27 22 or to contact the police.
Source: South African Government News Agency