Hawks are hot on the heels of Eskom saboteurs
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South Africa’s Priority Crime Investigating Unit (Hawks) have confirmed they are hot on the heels of elements that have sabotaged infrastructure belonging to power utility Eskom last week, bringing the threat of a power supply crunch even closer with the damage to essential infrastructure including power pylons and coal conveyancing equipment at critical points.
Eskom and Hawks personnel have said the matter was receiving high priority.
“On arrival it was found that the scene has been tampered with during replacement and repair of the damage by technicians. Investigation into the matter is still ongoing and no arrests have been made," said Hawks Brigadier Thandi Mbambo.
Mbambo confirmed that the matter had been reported to the elite unit on Thursday, but due to bureaucratic delays, it was only registered with the investigation unit over the weekend.
Last Friday, Eskom’s chief executive, Andre de Ruyter, in a briefing to the media outlined a litany of acts of sabotage including extension cords being dropped onto cooling systems at Matimba, deliberate tripping of power to Lethabo coal conveyors and syndicates skimming off coal off trucks.
De Ruyter stopped short of naming organised syndicates “which had previously benefited from Eskom coffers and had millions confiscated to the state” but said “there was a definite pushback” from elements that had benefited from Eskom.
“It is dangerous to speculate, we will avoid speculation and paranoia until we have scaled up our security systems,” he said, saying there were too many coincidences in the faults and defaults of the institution for these to be random malfunctions.
These date back the transformer unit 4 blowout at Medupi which is out for the next 18 months to the current sabotage of dry cooling systems at Matimba that took out all three cooling towers.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE