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Truck Driver Arrested For Diverting And Selling Heavy Oil Meant For Eskom Power Station

The arrest comes as a result of ongoing investigations conducted by the NATJOINTS Energy Safety and Security Priority Committee, which was established to address security, crime, and corruption issues that hinder Eskom's mandate.

This week, the police have made an arrest in connection with the theft of heavy fuel oil intended for use at an Eskom power station.

The arrest comes as a result of ongoing investigations conducted by the NATJOINTS Energy Safety and Security Priority Committee, which was established to address security, crime, and corruption issues that hinder Eskom’s mandate.

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On Monday, 13 November 2023, 42-year-old Phumlani Johan Hadebe was apprehended and subsequently appeared before the Bethal Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, 14 November 2023. Hadebe, a truck driver, is accused of diverting and selling heavy fuel oil worth R500,000 for a mere R40,000.

At the time of the crime, he was employed by a company contracted by Eskom to deliver the oil to the Camden Power Station in Mpumalanga. Instead of fulfilling his duty, he delivered the oil to a private facility and profited from the illicit transaction.

Heavy fuel oil plays a crucial role in power stations for electricity production and supply. The theft and diversion of such resources not only pose a significant financial loss but also jeopardize the stability and reliability of the power grid.

Recognizing the severity of these crimes, the NATJOINTS Energy Safety and Security Priority Committee has been actively investigating cases related to theft and damage of critical infrastructure, fuel theft, and theft of overhead cables, among others.

Between April and October 2023, a total of 1,618 cases involving these types of crimes were reported to the South African Police Service (SAPS). Of these cases, 1,043 are still under investigation, highlighting the committee’s commitment to thoroughly address each incident.

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As a result of their efforts, 207 suspects have been apprehended on various charges related to these criminal activities.

The collaborative operations led by the NATJOINTS, which include the SAPS, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, the Department of Home Affairs, and the Department of Minerals Resources and Energy, have yielded significant results.

One notable achievement has been the closure of 63 unregulated coal yards, contributing to the overall improvement of energy safety and security in the country.

Efforts to combat theft and corruption within the energy sector are vital for the sustainable development and functioning of critical infrastructure. The arrest of Phumlani Johan Hadebe serves as a reminder that those who engage in illegal activities will face the full force of the law.

The dedication and collaboration among law enforcement agencies and government departments demonstrate a united front against crime and corruption that threaten the integrity of Eskom’s operations.

As investigations continue, it is imperative that all stakeholders remain vigilant and proactive in safeguarding the nation’s energy resources.

Through ongoing efforts to strengthen security measures, prosecute offenders, and raise awareness, South Africa can work towards a more secure and reliable energy sector.

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Keitumetse Modise for SurgeZirc SA
Keitumetse Modise for SurgeZirc SA
Keitumetse Modise is a passionate and dedicated local news writer who brings the latest news and updates from your community straight to your doorstep. With years of experience in journalism, Keitumetse has established herself as a reliable source of information, covering a wide range of topics that matter to you.
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