“Our truck driver was so scared, he ran away when the protesters stormed onto the truck,” says Amica Jordaan, human resources manager of the transport company whose truck was raided by demonstrators at De Doorns in the Western Cape on Thursday morning.
The truck, which belongs to the Hennenman Buonadonna group in the Free State, was carrying a load of, among other things, smart TVs when it was forced to a standstill by rioters who blocked the N1 at De Doorns.
Jordaan, whose father owns the transport company, says their truck driver and at least three other truck drivers were forced to stop because the road was blocked by the protesters.
“There were at least three other trucks standing in front of him in the road.”
The protesters stormed two of the trucks.
“They cut open the sails of our truck and carried the smart TVs. There were at least 1,000 smart TVs in the truck, ”says Jordaan.
Police also said in a statement its members were going from house to house in search of the stolen goods.
The protesters are apparently farm workers involved in a wage dispute and have already blocked the road early in the morning, community members say.
The Western Cape government in a statement strongly condemned the looting of trucks and said there was another incident on Robertson Road in Worcester where a truck involved in a crash was looted.
Bonginkosi Madikizela, MEC for transport and public works, says the type of crime will not be tolerated. “Our law enforcement officers must ensure that the perpetrators are arrested and charged. Our traffic officers monitor our roads and traffic is diverted to ensure motorists’ safety. ”
Madikizela says the trucking industry and provincial traffic services met in October and agreed that intensive operations will take place to respond to incidents in places where the looting of trucks is frequent.
Albert Fritz, Community Safety MEC, says the kind of looting can cripple the economy and jeopardize job opportunities.
This was not the only looting across South Africa today.