Eskom has reported the arrest of two Eskom employees and a truck driver for the theft of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) worth approximately R300,000.
On 6 April 2023, the South African Police Services (SAPS) Illicit Mining and Economic Infrastructure Task Team observed various fuel trucks near the Eskom Kendal Power Station when they noticed a fuel tanker approaching the power station.
The truck was stopped and inspected close to a Petrol Station in Ogies, and 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 the 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 SAPS arrested the driver, and a criminal fraud and theft case was opened at the Ogies Police Station. The truck driver was released on R2,000.00 bail after appearing in the Ogies Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday (18 April).
Following the court proceedings, two Eskom plant operators from Kendal Power Station linked to the matter were also arrested and are expected to apply for bail on Monday (24 April).
“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 said.
“Eskom continues to lose billions of rands due to the misappropriation and adulteration of these critical commodities, which directly affects production,” it added.
“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, all working tirelessly to identify and disrupt the criminal networks, indicate our determination to root out the criminal elements from Eskom,” she added.
Eskom noted that it would 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.