More N2 attacks in truck bombing campaign

2019-09-12 06:01

The fourth incident of a truck being petrol bombed near Lwandle on Monday evening (9 September) has resulted in a strong condemnation from provincial Community Safety minister, Albert Fritz.

The incident comes after three separate incidents that occurred on the same day near Moorreesburg, Porterville and Piekenierskloof on the N7.

Fritz has called on the national minister of police, Bheki Cele, to ensure more effective coordination, intelligence gathering and sharing of information regarding these attacks.

Incidents of vehicle attacks along the N2 near Lwandle, and the petrol-bombing of trucks has been ongoing in the area since earlier this year and is apparently linked to a contentious tract of vacant land near Nomzamo High School.

Bonginkosi Madikizela, provincial minister for Transport and Public Works, said they had stepped up the intensity of operations on the N7 and other affected areas following the attacks on more trucks in the province.

“I was dismayed to hear that four trucks were torched last night [Monday] and in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The recent attacks are criminal and an obstruction to economic development in our province,” said Madikizela.

He said in the first incident, a truck was stoned and set alight on the N2 highway outside Strand at 21:50 on Monday evening.

“Just after midnight a truck loaded with cement was petrol-bombed near Moorreesburg on the N7. It is understood that two vehicles forced the truck off the road before setting it alight. The truck was completely destroyed,” he said.

Madikizela said these criminal acts cannot be tolerated.

“Our Provincial Traffic has arranged for intensified integrated operations to be conducted on the N7 and other hot-spot areas. Police and municipal traffic officers are part of this operation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fritz called on Cele to mobilise intelligence services, Hawks and the police, while working with law enforcement and Metro Police in an intergovernmental manner to facilitate intelligence gathering and sharing on these attacks.

He said this was necessary to ensure more arrests, convictions and the prevention of further related crime.

“I will further ask MEC Madikizela, to request provincial traffic to increase their monitoring of highways and to work with the police. Ultimately, an attack on trucks and truck drivers is an attack on our economy in the Western Cape as it undermines our retail, construction and agricultural industries, to name a few,” he said.

Fritz wished a swift recovery to the driver injured during these attacks.

“Together with my department, we will be closely monitoring the prevalence of truck attacks in the release of the annual crime statistics this coming Thursday by Minister Cele.

“Under the leadership of Minister Fritz, the Department of Community Safety remains committed to using every tool at its disposal to safeguard the province,” he said.

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