City Power’s private security personnel have shot and killed a man after he opened fire at them.
According to Isaac Mangena, a spokesman for City Power, the man attempted to flee with stolen goods on Friday by firing shots at the private security guards employed by the state.
According to Mangena, the gunfight took place near Vermont Street in Johannesburg’s southern Eldorado Park.
He said the incident took place after the power entity’s private security guards were summoned to attend to a possible case of cable theft.
“When they arrived at the scene of the crime, one of the suspects pulled a pistol and fired shots at security officers,” said Mangena.
“The armed officers fired back, and the suspect was fatally wounded.”
A murder inquest has been opened
Mangena stated that the Eldorado Park police station has opened a murder inquest. Another suspect, who was also on the scene, was apprehended.
Mangena said the suspect was caught in possession of copper cable and 500 LED street light covers, which are believed to have been stolen from a nearby school.
The 22-year-old man has been charged with theft and possession of stolen items.
“This incident comes amidst increased cases of cable theft and vandalism across the City of Johannesburg in recent weeks,” Mangena said.
In January, City Power recorded more than 200 cases of cable theft and vandalism.
He said at the weekend alone, the entity had 14 such incidents across all service delivery centres. Five cases of vandalised streetlights were also reported.
“This is seriously concerning as it impacts City Power’s ability to deliver uninterrupted electricity supply to customers.
Apology to residents and businesses
Said Mangena: “We apologise to all those who have been severely affected by the impact of these crimes.
“Due to the high incidents of theft and vandalism of transformers and mini-substations in the City of Johannesburg, the demand for this equipment is higher than what City Power has available on stock.”
“This affects our ability to respond to supply restoration timeously. The city’s electricity utility is calling for increased community participation in safeguarding the network infrastructure.
“While City Power continues to work hard on increasing its security, including collaborating with various stakeholders and deploying the latest technology to help curb crime, we still need the help of residents to effectively fight the scourge of cable theft and vandalism.”