Cable thieves cut loose

Russel Morena

Russel Morena

After five years of hoping to see justice done, a Johannesburg City Power contractor is still waiting to see cable thieves behind bars.

The last straw was when police released the alleged culprits on a warning just a day after they were arrested and before they appeared in court.

Ntokozo Mthethwa of Langa Electrical had opened cases of cable theft against his former workers, but their cases were never attended to.

Randburg police spokesman Hein van Heerden has confirmed that Nicholas Mpungose, Musa Ngubane, Oscar Mkhabela and Lazzy Sithole were arrested for attempted theft in Ferndale, Randburg, and were later released.

But Van Heerden yesterday said although they were released on a warning the case would still continue and that the charges were not dropped.

Mthethwa said he did not understand why the police released them after they were allegedly caught stealing the cables wearing his company uniform and pretending to be his workers.

Mthethwa said: "I have lost more than R2,5 million since 2004 because of cable theft.

"I have opened countless cases against them before but the police are still releasing them."

Mthethwa said he fired Mpungose, Ngubane and Mkhabela in 2006 and that Sithole was only fired two weeks ago after the recent arrest.

He said cable theft affects his business because City Power does not pay him if the cables are stolen.

Mthethwa said he would fight on until the buyer of these cables is also arrested.