Sabotage at Eskom targets bosses – new arrest made
SOURCE: BUSINESS TECH
National power utility Eskom has announced that a suspect linked to a bomb threat directed at the company’s chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer, has been arrested.
The arrest follows a threat being made earlier this year in May from an unknown cellphone number. According to the company’s internal Security Investigations team and the South African Police Service (SAPS), the suspect used an unregistered sim card to send the message.
On Friday (18 November), the Hawks contracted investigations from Bidvest Protea Coin, traced and then arrested a 27-year-old male suspect in the Vosman area at eMalahleni, Mpumalanga, said Eskom.
“The targeting of Eskom executives and employees who are focused and hard at work during these difficult times is very disturbing. Such acts of criminality are malicious, and Eskom takes them seriously,” said Advocate Karen Pillay, the general manager of security at the utility.
“This nature and level of threats, therefore, demand that they focus on their safety and that of their families instead, distracting them from the critical task their jobs demand of them.”
This is not the first case of an employee being threatened, said the advocate.
Criminal elements have grabbed hold of South Africa’s state-owned entities, with Eskom being no different.
Last month, the utility also approached the Hawks to investigate several high-profile incidents – including the theft of coal, diesel, cables, bomb threats, fraud and corruption, sabotage and a wide array of other issues.
On 16 November, Eskom announced the arrest of a maintenance worker who sabotaged a key unit at Camden power station. The suspect was employed by a third-party maintenance company, according to Eskom and intentionally removed a bearing oil drain plug, causing oil burners to trip repeatedly.
When questioned on why he committed such an act, the perpetrator said that he did so in order for his employer to be awarded additional maintenance and repair jobs at the station.
All this takes place as rolling blackouts continue to plague the country, halting economic growth and limiting the average South African’s access to a stable supply of electricity.