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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

City Power official among suspects caught trying to steal transformer

The suspects were arrested by JMPD’s Undercover Reaction Unit for attempted theft of critical infrastructure

The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) has arrested five people, including a City Power official, and subcontractor after they tried stealing an electrical transformer in Hillbrow, Johannesburg.

The four male and one female suspect were arrested by the JMPD’s Undercover Reaction Unit for attempted theft of critical infrastructure on Friday.


JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla said officers received information about suspects who were allegedly stealing critical electrical equipment at a building on Kapteijn and Twist Street.

“The officers proceeded to the given location and found the alleged suspects disconnecting the transformer. The suspects were questioned on their dubious conduct.

Whilst interviewing the suspects, it was discovered that one of them is a City Power official and another suspect is a City Power subcontractor. It’s alleged that the City Power official hired the other suspects to assist him to take the transformer, and promised to pay them after the completion of the job,” Fihla said.

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City Power vehicle

Fihla said vehicles were also seized during the bust.

“Three vehicles used in the commission of the crime, a white Nissan NP200 and two Nissan trucks, one with a City Power logo displayed on it, were seized and booked in at the Saps Aeroton pound.

Fihla added that the suspects were arrested and detained at Hillbrow police station and are expected to appear in court soon.

Other incidents

Meanwhile, in a separate incident, another City Power contractor was caught on Friday on video, removing 20 metres of copper cable and replacing it with ABC cable along Hamberg Road, Witpoortjie.

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena sad the suspect was taken to the Honeydew police station for processing.

“The Roodepoort Service Delivery Centre, also reported that last night, one of their transformer inside a chamber around Matholesville was stolen but no arrests have been made. It is not clear if any of the arrested suspects is linked to this theft of a transformer and the police are investigating,” Mangena said.

Cable theft and vandalism

Mangena said the utility has discovered 26 incidents of cable theft and vandalism and made eight arrests in March.

“Internal disciplinary action will follow against the City Power employee, and the City Power contractors will be fired and have their contracts with the entity terminated.

“It is extremely disappointing for us as these are the people that are entrusted with keeping the lights on but instead they are the ones contributing to the lights being off,” Mangena said.

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