Cable thief fries

14 December 2006 - 02:00
By unknown

Selby Makgotho

Selby Makgotho

Residents of Lebowakgomo township in Limpopo yesterday woke up to find that a cable thief had died as a result of trying to steal copper wire from underground electrical cabling.

The man, believed to be in his late 30s, apparently died at 3am after being electrocuted.

There have been an increased number of cable thefts in Lebowakgomo recen tly.

After police retrieved the body of the man yesterday, they called Sowetan's offices in Polokwane "to send out a message to people that stealing electricity cables is dangerous".

The cable thief had dug up the cable for a few metres when it burst into flames and electrocuted him.

The dead man had put on two pairs of trousers, believing that they would protect him. Eskom has stressed that people cannot be protected from electrocution by wearing extra clothes.

Inspector Manong Tshehla said people often saw cable thieves in the act but thought they were Eskom officials doing maintenance work.