A truck driver was arrested for diverting heavy fuel oil intended for an Eskom power station and selling it off at a cheaper price.
The driver, Phumla Johan Hadebe, was caught earlier this week and appeared before the Bethal magistrate’s court on charges of theft and fraud.
Hadebe is accused of diverting and selling heavy fuel oil worth R500,000 for R40,000. He was working for a company contracted by Eskom to deliver the oil to Camden power station in Mpumalanga, police spokesperson Brig Athlenda Mathe said.
Heavy fuel oil is used in power stations to produce and supply electricity.
“He never delivered the oil to Eskom and instead delivered it to a private facility and pocketed the money for his benefit,” Mathe said.
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Investigations by the NatJoints energy safety and security priority committee, tasked with addressing crime, security and corruption-related cases which affect Eskom, traced Hadebe and arrested him in Gauteng.
Mathe said the committee’s investigations have led to success, with 1618 cases reported to SAPS between April and October this year. These include cases of theft, damage to critical infrastructure, and theft of fuel and overhead cables.
Of these cases 1,043 are still being investigated, while 207 suspects have been arrested for various charges related to such criminality, Mathe said.
“Operations by the NatJoints including the SAPS, department of forestry, fisheries & the environment, department of home affairs and department of mineral resources & energy have so far led to the closure of 63 unregulated coal yards.”