Joburg mayor calls for national intervention after deadly attacks on City Power security guards

Joburg mayor calls for national intervention after deadly attacks on City Power security guards

Johannesburg mayor Mpho Phalatse is convinced City Power security guards are the targets of co-ordinated attacks by ruthless criminals.

This after three separate attacks last week. In one attack, two City Power security guards were killed.

Phalatse said: “An incident took place on Friday night when two City Power security personnel exchanged gunfire with assailants in Kya Sands, north of Johannesburg. One security guard was rushed to hospital and is in ICU after sustaining a head wound.

“On Thursday night, two City Power security personnel were gunned down and robbed of their firearms in Carr Street, Newtown. This after ferrying burnt copper cables to a nearby depot from the scene of an underground fire in the CBD.”

The two guards were killed.

“The third incident took place on Wednesday evening when security personnel stationed at Cydna substation, north of Johannesburg, were accosted by an armed gang with rifles. They were made to lie on the floor while the gang ransacked the substation and stole several hundred kilograms of underground cabling they ripped from the ground using unmarked 4×4 vehicles.

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“In my interactions with local authorities across the country it has become clear these are not incidents isolated to Johannesburg. A co-ordinated plan, led by national government, is needed to prevent these crimes and protect critical infrastructure.”

Phalatse said she had instructed the city’s group forensic and investigation services commissioner Shadrack Sibiya to assemble a team to work with police and metro police to investigate the attacks.

“We cannot do this on our own and require inputs and resources from all spheres of government,” said Phalatse, adding she had “appealed to President Cyril Ramaphosa, the National Prosecuting Authority and Gauteng police commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela to “avail the highest level of resources to investigate and prosecute what is becoming a trend aimed at sabotaging Johannesburg’s already fragile infrastructure”.

She said if criminal activity directed at the city’s infrastructure was not curbed, the city and the country’s economies would suffer.

Phalatse extended her condolences to the families of the guards killed in Newtown.

“Their deaths must not be in vain. I appeal to anyone who might have information related to the incidents to contact commissioner Sibiya on 081-462-2939 or call the city’s 24-hour tip off hotline 0800-002-587.”

TimesLIVE

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