An Eskom security officer has been shot dead in Soweto.
Around 30 heavily armed suspects shot at the officer and six of his colleagues on Tuesday, 11 January during an alleged attempt to steal copper cable outside the Eskom Klipspruit Customer Network Centre (CNC) in Soweto.
"The seven security officers drove out of the Klipspruit CNC to return to their post at Mapetla substation when the armed suspects allegedly opened fire and fatally wounded one security officer," said Kith Maitisa, an Eskom spokesperson.
The incident happened just before midnight. It appeared the suspects were attempting to steal a City Power copper cable when the team of seven security officers drove towards them.
The wounded officer succumbed to a head wound on Thursday. The other security officers managed to escape unharmed.
"Eskom sympathises with the family of the deceased security officer and is deeply concerned about such criminal acts that cost the life of a breadwinner. Our role is to provide safe and reliable electricity to customers. However, such acts have a negative impact on us achieving this obligation. We will not compromise the safety of our employees and will therefore recall our employees should their safety be at risk," said Maitisa.
"Eskom continues to experience high incidents of theft and vandalism of its electricity infrastructure, which is beyond what Eskom can handle, even with all controls in place," added Maitisa.
"This unfortunate incident took place during a campaign which Eskom has embarked on to create awareness of the impact of electricity infrastructure vandalism and theft on the security of supply. The power utility condemns these acts of criminality and requests members of the public to provide information that can lead to the arrest and the successful prosecution of those involved," Maitisa said.
Eskom and the police were investigating the incident, Maitisa said.
Members of the public have been encouraged to report suspicious activities anonymously to the toll-free Eskom Crime Line on 0800 11 27 22 or their nearest police station.