Johannesburg business owner arrested for illegally reconnecting electricity

It is alleged the man owes the city more than R490 000 for rates and services.

A 63-year-old Johannesburg business owner has been arrested in Industria North during a #BuyaMthetho operation for illegally reconnecting the power supply to her property, City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba said on Saturday.

The suspect was arrested by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD), working together with the city’s Group Forensic and Investigation Services (GFIS) on Friday, Mashaba said.

“It is alleged that the property [owner] owes the city over R490,000 for rates and services. Power supply to her property was disconnected on the 16th January 2018 by the city’s technicians. Yesterday [Friday], when the operation #BuyaMthetho team returned to the property, they found that the electricity to the property was illegally reconnected,” he said.

“I have instructed the JMPD to monitor properties which have been visited as part of the operation and ensure that services are not illegally reconnected at these sites. If they are reconnected the owners will be arrested immediately.

“I have every faith that the JMPD, working with our law enforcement partners, will do all it can to ensure lawbreakers are held to account. This operation is conducted on a daily basis as a ward-based ‘raid’ initiative.”

Operation #BuyaMthetho was a joint operation between all key city departments and entities, such as the GFIS, JMPD, environmental health, social development, infrastructure services, the city’s legal department, and development planning, among others.

The operation’s main focus was to ensure city by-laws were adhered to by all within the city and that the rule of law became the order of the day. The city, working with all state enforcement agencies, would not leave any stone unturned when dealing with criminal activities within its area of jurisdiction.

“I would also like to encourage people to report any theft, fraud, and corruption activities through our 24-hour tip-off hotline 0800-002-587 or visit the GFIS offices situated at 48 Ameshoff Street in Braamfontein,” Mashaba said.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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