Strikers torch truck on N3 at Mariannhill

2012-09-28 00:00

TRUCK was set alight on the N3 west near the Marianhill toll plaza yesterday by drivers taking part in the national transport strike.

Police said the truck was driving along the Stockville Road off-ramp near the toll plaza when it was attacked by a group of people who threw stones and forced the driver to stop.

“It is alleged that they forced the driver out of the truck and robbed him of his belongings, then set the truck alight,” said police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane. “No arrest has been made.”

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa warned that action would be taken against anyone found to be responsible for the recent violence, which includes intimidation and the burning of trucks.

“Acts of violent destruction and intimidation of innocent people cannot be justified as public protests and that is why we shall act harshly against lawlessness,” warned Mthethwa.

In Richards Bay, over 100 truck drivers took part in a peaceful march.

According to the Swazi Observer, the strike is expected to have a huge economic impact on Swaziland. A number of Swaziland nationals have been stopped by protesters in Richards Bay.

Swaziland imports most of its goods from South Africa, including fuel.

The South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) said they had put contingency measures in place should the strike impact the supply of fuel to service stations. Sapia’s executive director Avhapfani Tshifularo said: “The petroleum industry is not part of the negotiation in the road freight and logistics industry. This is a negotiation between the Road Freight Employers’ Association (RFEA) and trade unions.”

In a statement, RFEA’s executive officer Magretia Brown-Engelbrecht said they were faced with a prolonged strike action and accompanying financial losses after the unions had upped their demand from eight percent to 12%.

South African Allied Transport Workers’ Union spokesperson Vincent Masoga said the strike would continue.

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