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Truck driver steals Eskom coal, delivers rubble as a cover-up

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A 28-year-old truck driver was arrested in the early hours of the morning on Tuesday, 22 November 2022 on charges of fraud and theft of Eskom’s coal.

This after the suspect stole coal which was supposed to deliver at Eskom and allegedly sold it.

“The driver used his truck which was subcontracted to collect coal from Msimbithi Coal Mine in Wonderfontein near Belfast and deliver it to Camden Power Station operated by Eskom in Ermelo,” said Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase.

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It is alleged that the truck driver deviated from that route with the coal worth approximately R30 000. He went ahead and offloaded at an illegal coal yard on Bethal road in Vaalbank near Middleburg.

To cover his theft, the driver allegedly loaded rubble coal mixed with stones and proceeded on his way to deliver to Camden Power Station.

The truck driver was intercepted by Bidvest Protea Coin Security on arrival at Power Station and the matter was reported to the police and the matter was referred to the Hawks for further investigation.

The man was arrested and the truck as well as the rubble coal mixed with stones were seized for further investigation.

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eskom coal
The 28-year-old truck driver. Photo – SAPS

The preliminary investigation by the Hawks’ Crimes Against the State (CATS) team revealed that the criminal actions were not only meant to defraud Eskom but to also cause irreversible damage to the machinery and derail the electricity production process.

He is expected to make his first court appearance in Belfast Magistrates Court on Thursday, 24 November 2022.     

Eskom coal theft is rampant, just last week two truck drivers were arrested after they were caught leaving Kendal Power Station in Mpumalanga with coal guise as ashes.

Eskom said the trucks which belonged to an ash transporting company contracted to Eskom were leaving the power station coal gate when they were stopped by security personnel conducting vehicle inspections.

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