Daring Alexandra Cable Thief Suffers Burns To Face, Body

Johannesburg – One of the 25 reported cable thefts at the weekend ended badly for a would-be thief – who was left nursing body and facial burn wounds after he touched a live wire.

The daring thief tried to steal a cable near the repair site of an electrical fault in Alexandra.

Narrating events that led to the thief being injured and arrested, City Power Spokesperson Isaac Mangena said: “City Power teams and contractors were busy on site trenching to repair a cable fault, near the Alexandra Substation when, bizarrely a few metres away, the suspect tried to cut and steal copper cables”.

Mangena added: “What the suspect was not aware of was that some of the cables were live and were supplying electricity to customers at the time of his actions.

“The cable blew up and burnt the suspect on most of the upper body including the face.”

The police arrived in the nick of time, just before frustrated residents could mete out any physical punishment.

The area has been without electricity and the cable theft attempt, which could have exacerbated the problem, angered the residents.

Police rescued the suspect and promptly arrested him.

Mangena said City Power “welcomes the arrest”.

He said the suspect was fighting for his life under the custody of Sandringham police.

“The area near Riverpark and the surroundings is one of the hotspots for cable theft and vandalism, and part of the reason most of the community east of the Jukskei river have gone for almost a week without electricity,” said Mangena.

The suspect faces charges related to tampering with and attempted theft of essential infrastructure.

Mangena said City Power recorded 25 incidents of cable theft and vandalism “this weekend alone, with eight of those happening in the Inner City”.