Electricity thieve ordered to pay Eskom

Electricity thieve ordered to pay Eskom
Electricity thieve ordered to pay Eskom. Image source: Pixabay

Farmer Jan Albert van der Merwe (46) has been found guilty of theft and 17 counts of contravention of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act 18 of 2015; tampering with or damage to essential infrastructure. The Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court has on Friday, 8 March 2024 ordered that he makes an immediate payment of R50 000. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment suspended for five years for theft. Van der Merwe was further ordered to pay over R1,5 million to Eskom by 10 March 2024.

The convicted electricity thieve was found to have tempered with an electricity box to his farm between 2017 and 2019. This he did to evade or reduce his electricity bill. As a result of his actions, Eskom suffered a loss in the region of R1,9 million.

Acting Provincial Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), Brigadier Sophie Hange has applauded the investigators for a thorough job. “Economic crimes have dire consequences for many innocent South Africans. Anyone found stealing electricity or assisting another to steal or damage essential infrastructure will be arrested,” she said.

SAPS Newsroom