Department welcomes assembly of SAPS team to investigate torching of trucks

One of the two freight trucks that caught fire on the N2 at Canefields, situated between eNseleni and eMpangeni. Picture: Supplied

One of the two freight trucks that caught fire on the N2 at Canefields, situated between eNseleni and eMpangeni. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 11, 2023


Durban —The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Sipho Hlomuka, has welcomed the decision by the police to assign a high-level crack team to investigate the torching of trucks and incidents of economic sabotage on the N3.

The decision by Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, to assemble this team follows the weekend incident in which six trucks were burnt down on the N3 at the top of Van Reenen’s Pass.

Moreover, on Monday night two more trucks were torched and the drivers were attacked on the N2 at Canefields, situated between Enseleni and Empangeni. The trucks belong to Nida, Zingaro and EMCAF.

“The incidents have sparked serious outrage in the industry as there are reports that the suspects were armed, forced the drivers out and started setting the trucks alight. These trucks were carrying goods amounting to millions of rand,” said Hlomuka.

He said the government strongly believed that these incidents were part of economic sabotage, and that stronger interventions were needed to protect the strategic routes for transporting essential goods and linking various provinces.

Hlomuka said he had since directed all structures within the province’s Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster (JCPS), including municipalities, to ensure an integrated response in dealing with the torching of trucks. He further said he had also reached out to other role-players within the sector to work with the police and government in ensuring an end to such incidents.

“The government is of the view that such acts of criminality must be dealt with decisively and with great speed. These incidents are undermining the progress we are making in achieving economic recovery as a province. Sabotaging the economy will result in job losses and unemployment. Efforts led by the police will continue with the work of monitoring and ensuring visibility on the strategic routes,” said Hlomuka.

He further called on anyone with information to work with the police in ensuring that the perpetrators were brought to book.

“Working with the trucking industry we must join hands in beefing up security and the monitoring of the trucks on highways. This must include the deployment of technology and other resources,” said Hlomuka.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said Empangeni SAPS were investigating a case of armed robbery, malicious damage to property and attempted murder.

WhatsApp your views on this story to 071 485 7995.

Daily News