- On 6 April 2023, the South African Police Services (SAPS) Illicit Mining and Economic Infrastructure Task Team was observing various fuel trucks in the vicinity of the Eskom Kendal Power Station when they noticed a fuel tanker approaching from the power station.
- The truck was stopped and inspected, close to a Petrol Station in Ogies.
- On inspection it was established that the tanker contained a full load of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO).
During questioning, the driver presented a weighbridge slip confirming delivery of the fuel. The driver was instructed to proceed back to the Kendal Power Station where arrangements were made to have the tanker re-weighed. It was then established that only 1 680kg of fuel was offloaded instead of the full consignment. Eskom suffered a loss of approximately R300 000.00.
The driver was arrested by the SAPS and a criminal case of fraud and theft was opened at the Ogies Police Station with case number CAS 15/04/2023. The truck driver has since been released on a R2 000.00 bail after making an appearance in the Ogies Magistrate’s Court on 18 April.
On 18 April 2023, two (2) Eskom plant operators from Kendal Power Station linked to the matter were also arrested and are expected to apply for bail on 24 April 2023.
The theft of HFO is a highly organised criminal activity and syndicates involved are being enriched through the proceeds derived from the illicit trade of the stolen products. Eskom continues to lose billions of rands due to the misappropriation and adulteration of these critical commodities, which directly affects production.
“The arrest of these unscrupulous individuals is a significant step in our fight against crime in Eskom and the country, and we shall continue in our pursuit to ensure that the perpetrators face the full might of the law,” said Advocate Karen Pillay, General Manager for Security at Eskom.
The persistent and excellent efforts by the Eskom Security Team, Bidvest Protea Coin Task Team and the SAPS, who are all working tirelessly to identify and disrupt the criminal networks, are an indication of our determination to root out the criminal elements from Eskom.
Eskom will provide the required support to the SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority to ensure that the suspects are successfully prosecuted and that a stiff sanction is meted out as a favourable outcome will serve to deter other would-be offenders.
Eskom urges the public to report information regarding theft of coal, fuel oil and diesel to the Eskom Crime Line: 0800 11 27 22.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal