Tue, 22 Jun 2021

  • The police arrested six suspects linked to the torching of a truck on the N3 highway in Ekurhuleni on Monday.
  • It is alleged the group petrol-bombed the truck at approximately 05:15 near Leondale.
  • The group then allegedly attacked two other trucks, but only took the keys, leaving the trucks in the middle of the road.

Six suspects linked to the torching of a truck and attacking two others on the N3 highway in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, on Monday, have been arrested.

The police have made headway in the spate of violent attacks on trucks that has plagued South Africa's transport industry.

In a statement on Tuesday, police said the first suspect was arrested shortly after the incident while the other five were rounded up a few hours later.

"Soon after the matter was reported to the police, a search operation was launched for suspects which resulted in the arrest of six men in Leondale, Alberton," police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said.

It is alleged the suspects petrol-bombed a truck on the N3 highway near Leondale at approximately 05:15 on Monday.

PICS | 5 trucks set on fire on R59 between Parys and Sasolburg

"The driver managed to escape from the burning truck unharmed," added Makhubele.

The same group then allegedly targeted two other trucks, but only took the keys, leaving the trucks in the middle of the road.

Fled

"Police responded and arrested one suspect on the scene while the others fled on foot. Later that same morning, police continued with the search operation and arrested five more suspects in Leondale," said Makhubele.

The suspects, aged between 29 and 41, are expected to appear in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court on Wednesday facing charges of malicious damage to property, attempted hijacking, and interfering with essential infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the police are still searching for the suspects behind the petrol-bombing of two trucks on Saturday evening on the R59 highway in Alberton, where the drivers escaped unharmed.

READ | Two trucks petrol bombed in Mpumalanga

Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela said the swift and decisive action by the police resulted in the arrests and should serve as a warning to the criminals behind these attacks.

"Such acts of lawlessness will not be left unpunished," Mawela added.

"We will ensure that the perpetrators are caught and get to face the full might of the law."

Numerous incidents have been recorded on South Africa's roads and highways in recent months.

So much so, that in November last year, President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned the violence and vandalism that affecting the road freight industry, while Police Minister Bheki Cele suggested the army could be deployed to protect the trucks, if need be.

In November last year, News24 reported that five trucks were set alight on the R59, between Parys and Sasolburg.

The week before those attacks, nine trucks with trailers were torched in Heidelberg.

Source: News24

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