City Power has released details of how two officers were shot dead while seated in their car in the Johannesburg central business district.
The cold-blooded murder occurred around 11 pm Thursday.
Before tragedy struck, the security officers contracted to City Power patrolled some of the cable theft hotspots around Newtown.
Parts of the Johannesburg central business district have been without electricity since Monday when an underground fire burnt supply cables.
City Power workers have been removing burnt cables from the tunnels ahead of replacing them.
The pair of security officers had also escorted a City Power truck transporting tons of the burned copper cables from the Inner-city to the utility’s Salvage Yard at the head office in Booysens.
Later, the security officers stopped along Carr Street, near the double-decker highway, where they inspected a kiosk often burgled and used to gain entry into the tunnels.
“Upon completing the inspecttion, the security officers returned to their vehicle to write a brief security status report,” said City Power Spokesperson Isaac Mangena on Friday.
“Without any notice, armed suspects appeared on both the driver and passenger sides and shot both of them.
“They then pulled the lifeless bodies out of the vehicle and took one firearm from the crew.”
Police were then alerted.
During their preliminary investigations, the police found more than 10 spent cartridges on the scene.
Mangena said Thursday night’s murder “goes to show how brazen and dangerous the cable thieves have become”.
He said the fatal shooting of the security officers had the hallmarks of organised crime.
The crimes are not committed by “just an ordinary person, but by heavily armed gangs, equipped with cars and other resources,” lamented Mangena.
He said earlier this week on Wednesday armed criminals held up City Power contracted security at gunpoint at Cydna Substation near Melrose, and stole 12 copper cables from the high voltage yard.
City Power has in recent months increased armed security at its various installations due to the increase in theft and vandalism.
MMC Michael Sun and City Power acting CEO Tshifularo Mashava have extended their condolences to the families of the two security officers.