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Two Chinese nationals will appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday following their arrest for allegedly illegally connecting to the city’s electricity supply.

The suspects‚ who own a business in Fordsburg‚ have an account with the city which is about R500‚000 in arrears‚ Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba said on Saturday.

Their business property was targeted earlier in the week as part of Operation #BuyaMthetho.

“During that operation‚ power supply to their property was cut off by City Power employees. It is clear that these businessmen work with officials who supplied them with a new meter and reconnected power supply to their property illegally.

“I have instructed the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) to monitor properties which are disconnected as a part of Operation #BuyaMthetho so as to ensure that services are not illegally reconnected at these properties. If they are reconnected‚ the owners will be arrested immediately‚ as was the case with these two suspects‚” Mashaba said.

He added that on Friday‚ the city’s Group Forensic and Investigation Service (GFIS) team‚ working together with the South African Police Service (SAPS)‚ had arrested a businessman in Fordsburg for attempting to bribe a city official to install four electricity prepaid meters valued at R8‚000. The arrest was also part of Operation #BuyaMthetho.

Operation #BuyaMthetho is a new multi-departmental operation aimed at enforcing by-laws and bringing the rule of law to the City of Johannesburg‚ Mashaba said. Key departments that are part of the operation include City departments and entities such as GFIS‚ JMPD‚ Environmental Health‚ Social Development‚ Infrastructure Services‚ the City’s legal department‚ and Development Planning to name but a few.

This operation is conducted on a daily basis‚ as a ward-based “raid” initiative.

“The operation’s main focus is to ensure city by-laws are adhered to by all within the City and that the rule of law becomes the order of the day.”

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