Johannesburg – A Hammanskraal police officer was on Tuesday sentenced to five years in jail for illegally selling prepaid electricity to Eskom customers in Botlokwa, Limpopo, the power utility said.
“Sello Fanie Madikologa was charged with the illegal distribution of ghost vending electricity tokens, electricity theft and fraudulent activities that led to revenue loss to Eskom,” it said in a statement.
“He was sentenced to five years imprisonment with an option to pay a R30 000 penalty and only serve two and a half years in prison and an additional five years suspended sentence.”
His four co-accused, who were local ghost token runners, turned state witness in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
Eskom’s senior manager of energy trading and sales forecasting, Maboe Maphaka, said the company had made great strides through its anti-electricity theft programme, Operation Khanyisa.
“The campaign, with support from law enforcement agencies, is closing in on these criminals and curbing the spread of the selling and buying of illegal electricity vouchers in the Limpopo province,” Maphaka said.
“As a result, Eskom is seeing an increase in revenue from prepaid electricity sales. Similar successes are also being recorded in other provinces. This is encouraging, even though the cases take long to go through the courts.”
The power utility said about R4.7bn in revenue was lost each year due to electricity theft.