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Court for eThekwini employee who allegedly sabotaged security cameras

eThekwini municipal employee Mlungisi Mondlana was arrested in a sting operation for alleged theft, sabotage and vandalism of closed-circuit television cameras.
eThekwini municipal employee Mlungisi Mondlana was arrested in a sting operation for alleged theft, sabotage and vandalism of closed-circuit television cameras.
Image: Supplied/eThekwini municipality

An eThekwini municipality employee who was arrested on Tuesday after allegedly tampering with CCTV camera cables made a brief appearance at the Durban magistrate's court on Wednesday.

The state alleges Mlungisi Mondlana, 36, a camera operator who works in the municipality's disaster management and crime control room, interfered with a computer data storage system, which is in direct contravention of the Cybercrimes Act.

It also alleges Mondlana allegedly interfered with cables by cutting them and removing those connected to the server at a municipal building located at Taylor Crescent on February 8.

Three days earlier, Mondlana allegedly cut cables connected to the municipal's main server which deals with CCTV cameras throughout the city.

The arrest comes after the camera operator, 36, had been under investigation by the city’s disaster management unit, its integrity investigation unit, and the police.

Mondlana, who was represented by Xolani Sibisi, was not asked to plead.

Prosecutor Jabu Mzindle asked for a seven-day remand.

Former eThekwini municipality councillor for ward 24, Sifiso Mngadi, who attended the court hearing, said he was convinced there was a syndicate working in cahoots with some city officials.

“We want the people who are working with him because we know that this is linked to murders. We need to dig deep. This is a worse crime,” said Mngadi.

He said there was a recent case in which an uMlazi councillor was killed but there was a gap in the CCTV camera footage of the incident.

Mngadi recalled a “hellish” ordeal when in 2020 he was hijacked and kidnapped in the vicinity of Aliwal and Smith streets in central Durban. “I was at my wits' end trying to find footage of the incident. I was sent from pillar to post,” he said.

He said during his tenure at the city hall, calls had been made for the city to jack up its CCTV cameras.

“You must remember that eThekwini is a tourist destination. The crime which continues unabated forces people to turn their backs on the city,” he said.

The city spent millions of rand fixing the cameras in preparation for the December festive season. 

The matter was adjourned to February 29 for bail consideration.

TimesLIVE


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