This morning, 31 October, two brothers aged 33 and 36 were brought before the Welkom Magistrate’s Court after being charged with the possession of suspected stolen copper cable valued at R650 000. The pair were employed at a scrapyard in Welkom, where their duties included accepting, weighing, and purchasing goods.
Their arrest occurred during a comprehensive operation conducted on 30 October by various law enforcement agencies, including the Welkom Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit (SOCI), Firearms, Liquor and Second-Hand Goods (FLASH), Eskom, and Transnet. The operation focused on executing search and seizure warrants. Subsequently, the scrapyard owner received a fine of R3 000 for non-compliance with the regulations outlined in the Second-Hand Goods Act 6 of 2009.
During the search of the premises, members of Welkom SOCI discovered copper cable that raised suspicions of being stolen. Their doubts were confirmed when an Eskom employee positively identified the confiscated items as belonging to the power utility.
Major General Mokgadi Bokaba, the Free State Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), commended the team involved in this operation. She emphasised the critical impact of cable theft. “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.”
Compiled by Warren Hawkins