Soldiers fix pipe blocked by local water trader

Soldiers help the Nkomazi municipal officials to reopen a water pipe that was blocked by a local. / MANDLA KHOZA
Soldiers help the Nkomazi municipal officials to reopen a water pipe that was blocked by a local. / MANDLA KHOZA

Soldiers from a nearby SANDF camp in Komatipoort, Mpumalanga, were yesterday called to help reconnect water to the community of KaMaqhekeza after their water pipe was cut off allegedly by a local water vendor who wanted to cash in.

The suspect operates a water tanker in the area and had allegedly sought to expand his business by cutting off a pipe next to his home, leaving dozens of villagers without water.

According to Tonga police spokesperson Capt Magonseni Nkosi, the suspect named as Victor Nyambi, is out on bail of R2,000 after being charged with malicious damage to property.

Community members told Sowetan Nyambi sold them water at R250 per 1,000 litres.

Nkomazi spokesperson Cyril Ripinga said the community had complained about their water running out despite all systems showing that there was water flowing to the area.

"Our officials went to check the pipes and found out that the man, Mr Nyambi, has stopped the water from the pipe which passes at his yard from going to other villagers," Ripinga said.

"He was the only one with water and used his water tankers to go around selling water to the community.

Ripinga said officials opened a case with the police and he was arrested.

"But before we would reconnect the pipes he was [already] released on bail. When our officials went to dig the pipe he chased them with spears that's why we had to call the police and the army today [yesterday]," he added.

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