More attacks on Telkom's network - TechCentral

More attacks on Telkom’s network


More than 13 000 customers have been affected by “saboteurs” targeting Telkom’s network, the telecommunications operator said on Sunday. The attacks come as a strike involving members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) enters its fourth week.

The company said that a total of 85 street distribution cabinets have been damaged in the past five days. Many of these cabinets have either been fully repaired or are partially repaired, it said.

“In areas where the work is still underway, the technicians are bringing streets back online as they complete the repairs. Our teams will continue to work around the clock until the service to all the affected customers is restored,” said spokeswoman Jacqui O’Sullivan.

“While less than 870 CWU members were on strike on Friday, this thuggish behaviour has now had a significant impact on many residential and business customers.” O’Sullivan added. The CWU last week denied it was involved in sabotage of Telkom facilities.

On Friday, Telkom brought a contempt of court application against eight CWU members who allegedly defied an urgent interdict issued by the labour court in the company’s favour.

The interdict prohibits the CWU and its members from blockading Telkom entrances and exits, intimidating working employees and damaging any of Telkom’s facilities and equipment.

“Telkom is seeking prosecution of those CWU members who defied the court order,” said O’Sullivan.

She said that last week, a CWU protester threw a brick at the car window of a non-striking employee as they were leaving a Telkom facility in Randburg. The protester was arrested.

On Thursday in the Western Cape, a number of non-striking technicians were sent threatening text messages in an attempt to get them to join the strike, she said.

“These incidents are examples of ongoing acts of intimidation by the CWU and the spike in sabotage is related to this industrial action. These are not random acts of vandalism or incidents of cable theft. These people know where to go and what to do to wreak maximum damage. This is in-house,” said O’Sullivan in a statement.

She said Telkom is strictly applying a “no work, no pay” rule to all striking employees.

Telkom's Jacqui O'Sullivan

Telkom’s Jacqui O’Sullivan

“Those who have been striking consistently since 1 August have been informed they will not be paid on the 25th of this month as a manual verification to check whether they actually worked any days in August is required. We will pay any days owing to them for August by 7 September 2016 in line with the requirements of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.”

O’Sullivan said Telkom and the CWU are due to meet tomorrow.

Last week, Telkom announced a R500 000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of anyone deliberately damaging its network infrastructure.

“This reward is available to any person either within Telkom or a member of the public with relevant information. Telkom has asked that any person with information related to these crimes contact the Telkom crime reporting line on 0800 124 000.”

She said that earlier this year, Telkom secured an important legal victory in the form of a significant sentence for a copper cable thief.

The Boksburg magistrates court sentenced Paul Mathonsi (alias Sambol Sambane Nyalunga) to 106 years in jail for his role in a copper cable theft syndicate.

“The Criminal Matters Amendment Act was introduced in May this year and allows for harsher sentencing and bail conditions for people who are found to have purposefully damaged infrastructure,” O’Sullivan said.

“Copper cable theft and the damage to infrastructure is costing Telkom, along with many other companies, millions of rand each year in repairs, lost working hours and lost customers. We are encouraged that the magistrate recognised this impact by handing down such a heavy sentence.”  — © 2016 NewsCentral Media


  1. Good to hear that Telkom is taking this matter seriously now. That R500 000 reward should be a nice incentive to hand over relevant evidence to enable successful prosecutions as well.
    I take it that Telkom HR is also busy with their own legal team to fast track instant dismissals to get the rest of the staff on message this week.
    Keep it up Telkom, as a dismissal for an act of plain sabotage or defying a court order does not play well in anybodies future employment CV.
    Just in passing…Is Telkom going to bring damages claims against the CWU and its INDIVIDUAL thugs to cover the repair costs involved to Telkom’s SDC’s PLUS the loss of trade to the businesses affected? If so, this could run into several million and would bankrupt the CWU within 24 hours. Maybe those business owners themselves might just take on the CWU, this could get really interesting.

    Be careful Aubrey.

  2. Why is the pic showing electricity lines, not a damaged Telkom street distribution cabinet ?

    “The Boksburg magistrates court sentenced Paul Mathonsi (alias Sambol
    Sambane Nyalunga) to 106 years in jail for his role in a copper cable
    theft syndicate.
    “The Criminal Matters Amendment Act was introduced in May this year
    and allows for harsher sentencing and bail conditions for people who are
    found to have purposefully damaged infrastructure,” O’Sullivan said.”

    Good to see stiff sentences for copper theft being handed out. But when when you crook yourself to power and become Numbawan, the political leader of the country, you can steal R 246 m for building your private small village, have all maintenance and electricity fees paid by taxpayers, have R 592 m spent on two brand new roads to your rural settlement, have taxpayers fund the Zuma taxi, the SANDF heli service Durban-Nkandla to the tune of R40 m per annum, have 100s of billions of Rands wiped of the local economy by corrupt appointment of Gov ministers, damage the economy by trillions, because of totally clueless management, and at the end of the day you only have to pay back a paltry R 7.8 m, and plead poverty.

    No prison sentence.

  3. CharlieTango on

    It’s the SA union way – when you don’t get what you want, you destroy everything.

  4. Good to see Telkom sticking to its guns on no work no pay. Employers almost always concede to pay strikers as part of final negotiations and it irks me. If there was a real hurt to the pocket, union members would not be so quick to jump into strike action for every little issue, rather keeping strike action for important issues and as a a last resort when all else has failed.

  5. Its sad to see how the media just feels sorry for telkom. Why isnt anyone talking about the zero percent increase the staff have been offered for 2016 and that an increase will only be implemneted on the 1 april 2017. What about inflation and workers rights? Who decides on a 0% percent increase? Why isnt the media headline saying Sabotage due to a zero percent increase???

  6. tongue in cheek on

    All the top brass get overpaid for under performing as is the current trend in SOE’s, maybe the unions should target them instead of pandering to political whim

  7. The pic is showing the old trunk lines, known as “plaas lyne”
    Those with the wind up dynamo telephone work on those.

  8. And whats Government doing about saboteurs? This is a serious attack in any other country! Same way as they deal with rape and fraud! This is a banana Republic under the ANC.

  9. Sorry I thought it was Ms O’Sullivan who was victim to the attack. Telkom is shortly going to be sued for damages resulting from their abandoned copper in Limpopo where they self destructed the rural infrastructure. Poachers are freely using this copper to place snares on game farms and the loss of poached game is running into millions. I have plenty of photos where Telkom allegedly sold off poles to farmers wonder who pocketed that loot. Maybe I should send them so they too can be published.

  10. William Stucke on

    Please send me some of those photos, Gladiator. I had some of 11 km of rural poles cut down because 500 m of line was stolen, and unfortunately mislaid them 🙁

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