Two brothers, aged 33 and 36, are scheduled to appear in the Welkom Magistrates’ Court this morning, for possession of suspected stolen copper cable worth R650 000. They are employees at a scrapyard in Welkom where part of their responsibility is to accept, weigh, and buy goods.
They were arrested on 30 October 2023, during a multi-faceted operation comprising Welkom Serious Organised Crime Investigation (SOCI), Firearms, Liquor and Second-Hand Goods (FLASH), Eskom, and Transnet. The disruptive operation was for effecting search and seizure warrants. The owner was issued a fine of R3 000 for failure to adhere to the stipulations of the Second-Hand Goods Act 6 of 2009.
In their quest to continue a search of the premises, members of Welkom SOCI uncovered copper cable which they suspected to have been stolen. Their suspicion was confirmed by an Eskom employee who positively identified the loot as belonging to his entity.
The Free State Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), Major General Mokgadi Bokaba has applauded the team involved in this operation. “Cable theft disrupts communication, stops the supply of electricity, and blocks essential services from reaching those in need. It must be our collective responsibility to fight this multi-million rand crime,” she said.