Working truckers continue to be targeted

2012-10-10 17:35
Torched truck (Picture: AP)

Torched truck (Picture: AP)

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Cape Town - Four truck drivers were injured on Wednesday as a truckers' strike marred by violence entered its third week, with no end in sight.

Two truck drivers were attacked in Ekurhuleni in separate incidents, said metro police spokesperson Inspector Kobeli Mokheseng.

The first happened in the Germiston area at 10:00 near the corner of Rand and Oosthuizen streets when a truck was forced off the road by a group of people.

The driver was assaulted but ran to a nearby police station.

"Patrolling officers responded quickly and the group ran in different directions. The truck is not damaged and the driver sustained minor injuries," Mokheseng said.

At 11:10 in the Boksburg area, a 10-ton truck was stoned on Wit Deep road opposite the Jerusalem informal settlement.

Police arrived quickly and the attackers ran away.

Police escorted the truck back to its depot in Jet Park and the driver was taken to hospital to be treated for moderate injuries.

A third attack also happened in Germiston in the early hours when a group of men tried to set alight a truck on Refinery road with a petrol bomb.

"That petrol bomb didn't alight (sic). They tried but it failed," Mokheseng said.

Violence related to the truck driver's strike was also reported in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.

A truck driver was shot while driving on the N3 near Cato Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal paramedics said on Wednesday.

The man, in his forties, was hit in the leg on Tuesday night, ER24 spokesperson Derrick Banks said.

"After he was shot he drove himself about 10km to the Camperdown police station to get help," Banks said.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed the shooting, but could not provide more details as the driver had to be rushed to hospital before a statement was taken.

Banks said the driver was in a serious but stable condition. No arrests were made. Police were investigating a case of attempted murder.

Critical

In Cape Town, a truck driver was fighting for his life after protesters set him alight in Manenberg, the Cape Times reported on Wednesday.

"He's critical. They actually attacked him, poured petrol on him and set him alight," an unidentified doctor at GF Jooste Hospital in Manenberg was quoted as saying.

The driver, 62, was admitted on Monday afternoon with burns on his face and hand. His brain was injured from oxygen deprivation. The man was stabilised and transferred to a private hospital on Tuesday night.

Another truck was set alight in the Western Cape between Albertina and Riversdale on the N2.

The white Freightliner was hijacked shortly after midnight after the driver stopped next to the highway to rest.

"Four men, whose identity is not known (sic), approached him on foot and broke one of the windows, after which they got into the truck with the driver," said Captain Bernadine Steyn.

One of the hijackers drove the truck on the N2 until stopping near the Conville off-ramp.

The truck was then set alight. The hijackers fled the scene and are still at large.

The truck driver was not hurt during his ordeal.

The strike has left several trucks destroyed, people injured and at least one man dead.

Gary Stewart, 41, was struck on the head by a stone thrown through the window of his truck last Wednesday while driving on the N2 in Cape Town.

His life-support machines were switched off on Monday.

A similar strike by road freight unions in February 2011 left at least 20 trucks damaged, 16 people injured and scores of arrests as non-striking truckers were beaten and their trucks looted and burned.

- SAPA
Read more on:    durban  |  cape town  |  johannesburg  |  transport strike
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