The bodies of two alleged fuel thieves have been found near Kibler Park in Johannesburg in the latest Transnet fuel theft attempt at the weekend.
One body was found in a structure and another in a tunnel leading to the petrol pipeline near Kibler Park.
“It is suspected that they were overcome by fumes while trying to siphon petrol from the pipeline on Saturday night,” Transnet pipelines said.
It said the structure and tunnel were demolished on Sunday.
“The incident at the weekend is a reminder to perpetrators that tampering with petrol pipelines and associated infrastructure can lead to disastrous consequences, including injuries and fatalities, extensive environmental damage and fire.”
This financial year, Transnet had 90 fuel theft incidents. Its specialised tactical teams, with aerial and ground support, apprehended 68 suspects, including two alleged kingpins, as the entity sought to halt the onslaught of criminal activities and keep pipelines and communities safe.
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“The perpetrators will face the full might of the law as tampering with the pipeline or colluding to tamper is a schedule 5 offence under the Criminal Matters Amendment Act and perpetrators are charged accordingly.”
Transnet urged petrol retailers and the public not to buy fuel from unregistered traders to help curb the demand for illegal petrol and to join in the fight against theft.
Perpetrators and organised crime syndicates planning to steal fuel from the pipeline network would be harshly dealt with.
Members of the public can report suspicious activities — bakkies, tankers or activities near Transnet infrastructure — by calling the toll-free number 0800-203-843 or reporting the matter to the nearest police station.