Truck driver arrested for allegedly selling Eskom’s heavy fuel oil worth R500k for R40k
The suspect allegedly never delivered the oil to Eskom.
Picture File: An Eskom sign at the entrance to Eskom’s Megawatt Park in Sunninghill, 25 August 2020. Photo: The Citizen/Michel Bega
Police have arrested a truck driver for allegedly stealing heavy fuel oil meant for use at Eskom‘s Camden Power Station in Mpumalanga.
The truck driver’s arrest was a result of an investigation by the NatJOINTS’ Energy Safety and Security Priority Committee, which was established to address security, crime and corruption-related matters at Eskom.
The 42-year-old man was arrested on Monday, and appeared before the Bethal Magistrate’s Court on a charge of theft and fraud on Tuesday.
According to Brigadier Athlenda Mathe, the suspect is accused of diverting and selling heavy fuel oil worth R500,000 for R40,000.
“At the time of the crime, he was working for a company contracted by Eskom to deliver the oil at Camden Power Station in Mpumalanga. He never delivered the oil to Eskom, and instead delivered it to a private facility and pocketed the money for his benefit,” said Mathe.
“Through intelligence, he was traced to Gauteng and arrested by police.”
Heavy fuel oil is used in power stations for electricity production and supply.
Between April and October 2023, 1618 cases were reported to South African Police Service (SAPS).
These include theft and damage of critical infrastructure, theft of fuel, overhead cables, among others.
1,043 of these cases are still under investigation.
About 207 suspects have been arrested for various charges related to such cases.
Operations led by the NatJOINTS, including the SAPS, Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Minerals Resources and Energy have also led to the closure of 63 unregulated coal yards.
In September, nine people were arrested for theft of coal and fraud at the Kusile Power Station.
The suspects included eight weighbridge operators employed by Eskom Rotek Industries (ERI) and a coal truck driver.
“Information was received that coal haulers would bypass Kusile Power Station without offloading the ordered coal. Investigations revealed that the weighbridge operators would process weighbridge transactions without the coal hauler having entered the power station to offload the coal,” Eskom said in a statement.
“Kusile Power Station would, however, be invoiced for the coal ordered but not received. The suspects have been detained at the Phola Police Station. They will be charged and brought before the court as per Phola CAS: 29/10/2022.”