Telecom Namibia's fibre optic network was recently vandalised at two locations in the Grootfontein Constituency of the Otjozondjupa region, disabling fixed and mobile communications services to thousands of customers in Okamatapati and surrounding farms.

The incident took place between Okatjoruu (Otjituuo) and Ongongoro on Tuesday, 24 November 2009, at around 18h35.

Vandals chopped the fibre optic cable with a sharp object some 45km from Okatjoruu towards Ongongoro, damaging 11 of the 24 fibers that run in that cable.

The same cable was again vandalised some 58km from Okatjoruu towards Ongongoro. The vandals also cut down and carried away a telephone pole and a 20 metre long piece of the fibre cable.

Telecom Namibia technicians went in to begin working on the restoration that includes the replacement of a 3km long fibre optic cable in order to restore services. We ask all our affected customers to remain patient while restoration work continues.

It is not the first time that vandals have sliced Telecom Namibia's fibre optic cable in that area, which forms part of the Omaheke backbone ring network between Gobabis via Epukiro to Grootfontein which was completed last year. This new backbone routes allows for new stations at Otjinene, Okondjatu, Okamatapati and Okatjoruu to implement CDMA and WiMAX wireless access systems in these areas for automated and modern services, especially internet services to these rural communities.

Anyone who tampers with, destroys or disrupts Telecom Namibia's network or its components is in violation of state laws and Telecom Namibia will assist with any prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. We again wish to remind the public that Telecom Namibia would award anyone for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for incidents of vandalism to its network in the Grootfontein Constituency or anywhere else in the country.

We urge the residents of that area and all other constituencies across the country to be vigilant and report such criminal acts and to apprehend the culprits should they be known in order for the Law to takes its course.

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