City Power contractor arrested for soliciting bribe

An official from a contractor providing electricity disconnection services to City Power has been arrested for corruption.

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba said on Saturday the woman had tried to solicit a bribe of R3,000 from a resident in Midrand, north of Johannesburg. 

 

She is to appear in the Midrand Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, where she would face a charge of fraud.

According to the city, the resident was served with a disconnection notice on Wednesday because her electricity account was in arrears. The official then allegedly arrived that afternoon and told the resident she was there to disconnect the electricity.

 

She allegedly indicated that if the client gave her R3,000 her electricity would not be disconnected.

 

READ: Power finally restored in central Joburg

 

The resident is said to have agreed to pay the money to the official but said she had only R1,500 and the official should return on Friday to collect the rest.

 

The resident then informed the city’s group forensic and investigation services (GFIS) team, which set up a sting operation together with members of the Hawks. The official arrived at the house on Friday to collect the money and the Hawks apprehended her, Mashaba said.

“I am disturbed that this is becoming a trend in Johannesburg. Earlier this month, a contractor was arrested for trying to solicit a bribe of R4,000 from a resident in Helderkruin, west of Johannesburg. I would like to commend the resident who refused to be part of any corrupt activity and reported the matter to our team.”

 

READ: City Power gives green light to Mashaba’s forensic investigation

In the context of the city’s billing problems, corruption served only to worsen the difficult circumstances that residents had been forced to live under for years. Under the previous administration, this sort of conduct would have “gone rewarded with a slap on the wrist; no more”, Mashaba said.

“Corruption has no place in this administration and we will work tirelessly, and in collaboration with institutions such as the Hawks, to ensure that it is eradicated and that residents of Johannesburg receive the quality services they deserve.

“I would also like to encourage residents to report any fraud and corruption through our 24-hour tip-off hotline 0800-002-587 or visit the GFIS offices at 48 Ameshoff Street in Braamfontein,” he said.

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