South Africa News

Suspects accused of torching trucks in Mpumalanga back in court

The five men accused of setting alight several trucks in Mpumalanga are expected to make their second appearance in the Ermelo Magistrate’s Court on Thursday. Nelson Shongwe, Sibusiso Mthethwa, Fundile Mpondo, Mafika Sibande and Nkosingiphile Gumede were arrested a few weeks ago. The charges they are facing include robbery, malicious damage to property and attempted murder.

Police say four of the accused are truck drivers while the fifth is a former truck driver.
During their first court appearance of the accused last week, some of them alleged that police had assaulted them when arresting them.

Last week, the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the disruption of work at port terminals due to the torching of trucks and the blocking of key corridors costs the local economy almost R800 million per month.

Durban Chamber CEO, Palesa Phili condemned the recent torching of trucks and says the KwaZulu-Natal economy is extremely reliant on the N3 corridor that connects the Durban and Richards Bay ports to the SADeC region.

Government has deployed SA National Defence Force (SANDF) members and police to patrol trucking routes.

Phili says, “If this particular situation happens and goes ahead due to the threats of trucks moving at night, it will cause a huge catastrophic economic impact. Not only starting with the trucks only being able to move the half of what they were moving during the day, but for the companies that are manufacturing these products that need to be protected.

We call on the President to really look at what we have in terms of the laws when people do such things such as burning of trucks and we need to see charges much more stronger and much more aggressive so that we can make sure that we safeguard our economy.

Source: SABC

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