Cable theft is terrorism, says Inkatha

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

The Inkatha Freedom Party has called for cable theft to be declared a terrorist activity.

Cable theft costs South African business R500million a year. Copper cable sells for about R50 a kilogram.

Yesterday, Parliament's committee on private members' legislative proposals heard from the IFP's Hennie Bekker that the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act should be amended to include cable theft.

South African Police Service's legal director Bert van der Walt opposed the IFP.

"To prove that cable theft is a terrorist activity, you would need to prove the motive to sabotage the entire state," Van der Walt said.

He said Parliament should instead look at making cable theft a crime punishable by 10 years in prison.

Anneli Botha of the Institute for Security Studies said: "It would be very difficult to include theft committed for personal financial gain into the broader spectrum of terrorism."