“Vodacom has evidence to suggest that the torching of network infrastructure, including 5G sites, in KZN is fuelled by the latest disinformation campaign on social media platforms, linking 5G and COVID-19,” Vodacom spokesperson, Byron Kennedy, confirmed with Connecting Africa via email to ‘Connecting Africa’.
He said that the method used in the current wave of attacks is to burn down cellphone network infrastructure.
“By contrast, in typical base station vandalism cases, thieves break into cellphone network base stations in order to steal batteries and copper,” he said.
Vodacom would not disclose how many towers were vandalized but Kennedy confirmed that of the network infrastructure damaged this week, one 5G site was affected. However, he said there was “little to no impact on the network” and the vandalized infrastructure is being repaired.
“We are working closely with local law enforcement to bring these criminals to book as well as to help protect our network infrastructure across the country.”