Plot to kill electricity debt in exchange for bribe goes up in smoke
A father and son who allegedly solicited a bribe to write off a R500‚000 electricity debt owed by a resident in Johannesburg had their plan short-circuited by the Hawks.
The pair will appear in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday. The two were employed by a City Power contractor‚ hired to conduct audits on electricity metres.
“It is alleged that the suspects approached the resident‚ whose account is said to be in arrears‚ and told him that they would write off his R500‚000 debt‚ provided a payment of R150‚000 is made to them‚” said Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba in a statement.
“Allegedly‚ they demanded R40‚000 before they could take any action on the account. The resident agreed to pay the money to the contractor and requested that they come to his place of work to collect the cash. The resident then informed the City’s Group Forensic and Investigation Services (GFIS) team which set up a sting operation together with the members of the Hawks.”
The suspects arrived at the resident’s workplace‚ collected the money and then asked for the balance of R110‚000 to be paid as soon as his electricity debt had been written off.
The Hawks pounced on them as they were leaving the premises. The pair are allegedly working with officials from City Power and the Revenue Department. “I would like to commend the resident who refused to be part of any corrupt activity and reported the matter to the City‚” said Mashaba.
“Corruption has no place in this administration. We are working tirelessly‚ in collaboration with institutions such as the Hawks‚ to ensure that corruption becomes a thing of the past.”
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