A stretch of N1 highway near De Doorns in the Western Cape
has become exceptionally dangerous for both truck drivers and general
On Sunday morning, a truck, carrying clothing as part of its
cargo due for Cape Town, was stoned from a pedestrian overpass. The boulder smashed
through the windscreen, injuring the driver, who then lost control of the
vehicle. Before the dust had settled, a group of frenzied looters descended on
the wreckage, pillaging and plundering the cargo hold. The driver of the truck
died as a result of the stampede.
Video footage showing the moment of impact was released to the media. The horrific scenes elicited a flurry of calls to the Western Cape Government, urging tougher road security measures and an end to the wanton looting and loss of life.
More trucks stoned near De Doorns
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) May 14, 2019
Less than 24 hours after Sunday’s deadly encounter yet
another two trucks were attacked in the same area. The modus operandi was
grossly similar; boulders were flung from the overpass and smashed into the trucks’
windshields. Luckily, both drivers managed to escape with their lives.
The latest spate of violent attacks caught the attention of Kenny Africa, Western Cape Traffic Chief, who, in an interview with Kieno Kammies on Cape Talk Radio, explained that a joint operation had been sanctioned to quell the pervasive unlawfulness. Africa said that local government, in conjunction with the South African Police Service (SAPS), would immediately deploy personnel to monitor the affected area. Africa explained:
“We will join hands with SAPS to safeguard that area. So, from now, until further notice, our provincial traffic officers, in conjunction with SAPS, will patrol that area and make sure that there is 24/7 visibility of traffic and police officers.”
Africa admitted that the prevalence of truck stoning,
particularly in De Doorns, was an act of pure criminality, with the intention
to render vehicles inoperable, and subsequently, defenceless against looting. Speaking
on Sunday’s incident, Africa said that it took just 45 minutes for all the
truck’s cargo to be looted.