Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane on Tuessday reassured the public that student l.
Eight people accused of stealing copper cables appeared in the Mkhuhlu magistrate's court in Mpumalanga yesterday.
The accused were not asked to plead on charges of theft and their case was postponed to July 7.
Their bail of R1500 each was extended, except for Howard Ngomane and Penny Mnisi, who both failed to pay the bail.
Duduzile Dlamini, 38, Nomasi Nkosi, 40, Agnes Ndowa, 50, Simon Mkhantswa, 57, Ngomane, 18, Mnisi, 18, Themba Khoza, 21, and Jabulani Mhlongo, were arrested last month after they were cornered by community members in Kildare village.
Community members claimed they found them in possession of copper cables that filled three trucks.
"We are angry because our food goes to waste as there is no electricity because of this theft," said community development forum chairman Richard Mathebula.
"We could not even call ambulances because the phones were not functioning," Mathebula added.
The community protested outside court, calling for stiff sentences for the accused.
Superintendent Abie Khoabane said the theft of cables was a big problem in Mpumalanga, with more than 20 cases reported in less than a week .