South Africa: Electricity Technicians Convicted for Extortion

press release

Pretoria — The Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court has today sentenced Kgatlako Moeketsi Given (40), Nkete Modise Albert (50), for corruption after they extorted sixteen thousand rand from a Botshabelo house owner whom they accused of tampering with the electricity box.

The two Technicians who were attached to a local Centlec centre arrived at the complainant's address on the 8th of January 2018, and asked to inspect the electric box. After the inspection they then told the complainant that her wires appeared to have been illegally connected, which the house owner denied. They threatened to remove the box unless they were paid an amount of sixteen thousand rand on the spot.

When it was evident that the owner couldn't raise the demanded amount, it was then reduced by half, but the complainant could only cough up three thousand rand with an agreement that they will collect the outstanding amount at a later stage.

The Hawks' Serious Corruption Crime Investigation unit was roped in to carryout investigations and a sting operation was carried out which resulted in the unsuspecting pair being caught red-handed after they had just received their much anticipated balance.

The court has fined both Moeketsi and Modise, hundred thousand rand or eight years imprisonment each, which is suspended for five years on condition that the accused are not convicted of fraud, extortion or contravening the provisions of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Activities Act, committed during the period of suspension.

The accused have also been ordered to pay the house owner an amount of one thousand five hundred rand each. They have further been declared unfit to possess a firearm.

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