The petrol bombing of about 20 trucks on the N3, R103, R23 and R550 around the Heidelberg area Thursday night appears to be a coordinated attack, according to the Editor of FleetWatch Patrick O’Leary.
In a Facebook post, he said “this can no longer be regarded as protest action; no matter what the cause of the protest.”
“This, by all measures, was a well-planned and coordinated campaign with all attacks having started at around 10.15pm with trucks on four major freeways being hit at the same time. That doesn’t speak of random service delivery protests.”
O’Leary described the attacks “a declaration of war against truckers and the economy which has been well planned over multiple levels.”
Vital to the economy
With no one or no group claiming responsibility, the motivation for the attacks remains a mystery, he says “this goes deeper than protests against the employment of foreign drivers.”
“This is bloody war man! Who knows but what we do know is that it is not up to the trucking industry to find out. It is up to the Government and the SAPS to get to the bottom of this – not through words but through decisive action that will serve to protect the trucking industry while it goes about its task of keeping the wheels of the economy moving.”
“Given the dismal performance of rail, the trucking industry is the only sector that is keeping the economy moving and yet it is being hammered on all sides; tonight’s attacks being just one,” said O’Leary.
And no one was killed or injured in the attacks, the Fleetwatch editor said the total losses will only be chalked up later, with “many millions of Rands lost” and the industry cannot afford such losses while it struggles to recover from the Covid-19 lockdowns.
“South Africa cannot afford such losses.”
“It is time for you Mr President, and your other responsible Ministers, to step up to the plate and take charge. The trucking industry needs to be protected and it is not the job of the industry to do so as it is currently trying to do against great odds.”
O’Leary said Thursday’s attacks can be seen as a declaration of war against truckers and given the vital role the trucking industry plays in the economy, a declaration of war against the economy.
“That’s a war zone and it is the Government’s job to fight the war, not the truckers. Or maybe not! Maybe the truckers should do it themselves by voluntary stopping all trucks just as these trucks were stopped tonight. Maybe it’s time to make a stand.”
He said the 20 or so trucks destroyed in the attacks will be a drop in the ocean compared to the total destruction of the economy when all trucks stop.
“Maybe it’s time to make that stand. I can assure you Mr President, that many truckers are willing to do so. It’s getting to that point.”