Police have this week arrested a truck driver for theft of heavy fuel oil meant for use at an Eskom power station. This arrest emanates from investigations being conducted by the NATJOINTS Energy Safety and Security Priority Committee which was established pursuant to the NECOM mandate to address security, crime and corruption related matters hampering the mandate of Eskom.

42-year-old Phumlani Johan Hadebe was arrested on Monday, 13 November 2023, and has already appeared before the Bethal Magistrate’s Court on a charge of theft and fraud on Tuesday, 14 November 2023.

The suspect is accused of diverting and selling heavy fuel oil worth R500 000 for R40 000. At the time of the crime, he was working for a company contracted by Eskom to deliver the oil at Camden Power Station in Mpumalanga. He never delivered the oil to Eskom, and instead delivered it to a private facility and pocketed the money for his benefit.

Through intelligence he was traced to Gauteng and arrested by police.

Heavy fuel oil is used in power stations for electricity production and supply.

The energy safety and security priority committee’s investigations has led to significant successes.

1618 cases were reported to SAPS between April and October 2023. These include theft and damage of critical infrastructure, theft of fuel, overhead cables etc.

1043 of these cases are still under investigation.

207 suspects have been arrested for various charges related to such criminality.

Operations led by the NATJOINTS including the SAPS, Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Minerals Resources and Energy have so far led to the closure of 63 unregulated coal yards.