The lorry-driving community of South Africa is currently living in fear, following a spate of recent attacks on their vehicles all across the country. As well as being subjected to a barrage of heavy projectiles, it seems there’s a new modus operandi for the anarchists out there: Three truck fires have been reported already on Sunday.
There’s no specific reason for why truckers are being targeted, but a common motivator in these cases is robbery and theft. However, some delinquents are now torching lorries while drivers are still inside.
Lorry drivers “under attack”
That’s exactly what happened in the Western Cape, in the early hours of Sunday. A driver making his way through Touws River pulled over for a rest, only to wake up and find a petrol bomb had been thrown at the vehicle. He suffered serious burns and an injured ankle when trying to escape, according to ER24:
“[The driver] explained to paramedics that he and his brother pulled over on the side of the highway with their trucks to rest. While he was sleeping, a petrol bomb was thrown through one of the windows of his truck’s cab, setting it alight.”
“He managed to jump out of the truck and was apparently chased by an unknown number of men who through another petrol bomb directly at him. He was treated by paramedics on scene and later rushed to Mediclinic Worcester for further care.”
What is causing the truck fires in South Africa?
The situation has also taken an ugly turn in KwaZulu-Natal, as drivers from both Durban and Pietermaritzburg are also facing hostile treatment. ENCA report that a fear of “foreign truckers” – employed at the expense of South African counterparts – is fuelling these truck fires, and there have been “more than 30” of these incidents in 2019.
TRUCK TORCHED NEAR LIBERTY MIDLANDS MALL : PMB. KZN. N3 SHUT IN BOTH DIRECTIONS. FIND ALTERNATIVE. pic.twitter.com/JhlF9JI0Xc
— REZA (@crimeairnetwork) June 2, 2019
It would also seem that these attacks aren’t just being carried out at night, either. Near Vereeniging in Gauteng, an attack has been reported in broad daylight. At this stage, no fatalities have been recorded.
R59 closed truck burning from sasol to vereeniging need to take voortrekker offramp to mis it pic.twitter.com/5H5YvBl8YO
— SALTruckers (@SALTruckers) June 2, 2019