Two fuel thieves found dead at Kibler Park pipeline

16th January 2023 By: Darren Parker - Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online

The bodies of two perpetrators of attempted fuel theft have been found at the Kibler Park petroleum pipeline, in Johannesburg, one inside the structure and one in the tunnel leading to the pipeline. 

It is suspected that they were overcome by fumes while trying to siphon petrol from the pipeline on the evening of Saturday, January 14. The structure and tunnel were demolished on January 15. 

“The incident over the weekend is a harsh reminder to perpetrators that tampering with the petroleum pipelines and associated infrastructure can lead to disastrous consequences, including personal injuries and fatalities, extensive environmental damage and fire,” State-owned Transnet Pipelines CE Michelle Phillips said in a statement issued on January 16. 

During the current financial year, Transnet has had 90 fuel theft incidents and, together with its specialised tactical teams, inclusive of aerial and ground support, has made 68 arrests, including that of two “kingpins”.  

Phillips said the perpetrators would face “the full might of the law”, as tampering with the pipeline or colluding to tamper is a Schedule 5 offence in terms of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act. All perpetrators have been charged accordingly.    

Transnet has urged all petroleum retailers and members of the public to refrain from buying fuel from unregistered traders, to curb the demand for illegal petroleum products and to join in the fight against petroleum theft. It warned that all would-be perpetrators and organised crime syndicates planning to steal fuel from the pipeline network would be prosecuted to the fullest extent. 

Members of the community are requested to report any suspicious activity, bakkies, tankers or activity near the company’s infrastructure by calling the toll-free number on 0800 203 843 or to report the matter to the nearest police station.