Electricity meter 'fiddle' lands man in court for alleged R180-million fraud
A man who masqueraded as an Eskom employee installing devices to “reduce electricity consumption” appeared in court on Tuesday for allegedly defrauding a municipality out of R180-million.
The man offered his services in the Eastern Cape but instead of installing a device‚ allegedly tampered with existing electricity meters.
“For almost three years [he] claimed to be working for Eskom and Buffalo City Metropolitan municipality and alleged he was installing a device which reduces electricity consumption‚” said Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwane Mulaudzi.
“It transpired that he allegedly did not install a device‚ but rather tampered with electricity meters. Consequently‚ the municipality lost approximately R180-million as a result of this alleged crime.”
The 53-year-old man was arrested after an investigation spanning two years by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime unit. He appeared in the East London Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
He remains in custody and will be back in the dock on June 29.
And‚ in a crackdown on alleged tender fraud‚ the Hawks have arrested six suspects aged 39 to 50 at various places in Johannesburg‚ Bloemfontein and Kimberley.
They were arrested after a probe into alleged gross irregularities in the awarding of various infrastructure tenders‚ without following due processes‚ between 2013 and 2016 at the health department in the Northern Cape.
At least R11-million was allegedly shared among six companies linked to the six suspects‚ said Mulaudzi.
The National Head of the Hawks‚ Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya‚ welcomed the arrests. The six were expected to appear in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.