Protesters take truck, slash tyres

2013-08-09 00:00

AS the blockade on the road between Muden and Greytown entered its third week, protesters are believed to have hijacked a truck yesterday.

They slashed its tyres and parked it across the road. A trench dug on the road remains in place and no one can pass.

Koos Marais of the KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union’s security desk, yesterday made a plea for politicians to get involved to end the impasse on the road.

He said there was a catch-22 situation, as far as the police were concerned. The police need witnesses to come forward and open cases, to arrest those blocking the road, but community members are too intimidated to do this.

Previously, a bread delivery van was set alight on the road. Rocks and burning tyres have also been used to block the passage of vehicles.

Residents are allegedly fed up with empty promises about water and electricity, and have demanded government action.

Farmers in the area have cried foul, as they are unable to move their produce to market.

One affected farmer, who called The Witness this week, said he would be looking at farming land in the United States with a view to emigrating.

“The police are doing nothing. What about my rights?”

It is believed that following the digging of the trench across the road, farmers filled it in with rocks, which the protesters then went and removed.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said police advise motorists and the community to avoid using that route until it is cleared.

“A case of malicious damage to property will be opened. The truck belongs to Aqua Transport. The Department of Transport is also involved to remove stones from the road.

“The police are arranging with the owner of the truck to tow it away. The key was taken from the driver by a local community member. All the tyres were punctured.”

The Department of Transport was asked to comment on the road blockade, but no comment was received by the time of going to press.

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