The unidentified man was arrested after residents called police to report he and two children were tampering with the lights. The intersection has had a higher than usual number of accidents in recent months, the report said.
"We will be charging him with attempted murder and malicious damage to property," said police spokeswoman Sergeant Katlego Mogale. "We don't know how long he has being doing this and how many accidents he might have caused."
In addition, Johannesburg Roads Agency chief Mavela Dlamini said the agency would sue the culprits if it could be proved any accidents or deaths had resulted from their tampering.