Five men aged between 27 and 56 years were caught red-handed loading stolen metal railway sleepers onto a truck in Morgenzon, Mpumalanga.
Acting on a tip-off, elite crime busters – the Hawks – on Friday swooped on the area, where the rails were being stolen.
“On arrival at an identified area, five suspects were found busy loading railway sleepers inside two trucks, one tractor, one front loader and a bakkie,” said Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi.
The damage to the rail infrastructure was estimated at R1.5 million.
All five suspects were arrested and are expected to appear in Morgenzon Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
They are facing multiple charges including damaging infrastructure, theft, and possession of suspected stolen property.