- During May 2022, Eskom Chief Operating Officer, Mr Jan Oberholzer, received a bomb threat from an unknown cellphone number.
- The internal Security Investigations team immediately preferred criminal charges on behalf of the Eskom Group Chief Operating Officer with the South African Police Service for investigation.
- It was also established that the suspect used an unregistered sim card to send the threatening message.
On Friday morning the Hawks and contracted investigators from Bidvest Protea Coin traced and arrested a 27-year-old male suspect. There was overwhelming evidence linking him to the crime. The suspect was arrested by the South African Police Service in the Vosman area at eMalahleni, Mpumalanga. He remains in custody ahead of his court appearance next week.
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“The targeting of Eskom executives and employees who are focused and hard at work during these difficult times, is very disturbing. Such acts of criminality are malicious and Eskom takes them seriously,” said Advocate Karen Pillay, General Manager of Security at Eskom. “This nature and level of threats therefore demands that they focus on their personal safety and that of their families instead, distracting them form the critical task their jobs demand of them.”
Advocate Pillay said other Eskom executives have also been targeted in recent months. “Safety and security risks inadvertently impose increased demands on the organisation to secure its resources. We are grateful to the Hawks Head Office team for their successful investigations and efforts in tracing the suspect at a time when they have many other serious crimes demanding their focus and priority,” said Advocate Pillay.
Eskom will provide the required support to the SAPS to help ensure the suspect is 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 on crimes against Eskom and or its executives to Eskom Crime Line: 0800 11 27 22.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal