Truck set alight with driver inside in Touws River
A series of attacks on trucks in KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape have left one truck driver seriously wounded. 50-year-old Bernard Groenewald sustained serious burn wounds when his truck was set alight along the N1 approximately 10km outside of Touws River during the early hours of Sunday morning, 2 June 2019. At approximately 1h00 on Sunday morning, paramedics from ER24 came across the incident where they found the man’s truck well alight on the side of the road. The man was found some distance away from his truck. He had sustained serious burn wounds and a possible injury to his ankle.
He 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.
They managed to jump out of the truck and were apparently chased by an unknown number of men who threw another petrol bomb directly at him. He was treated by paramedics on scene and later rushed to Mediclinic Worcester for further care.
The next 48 hours will be "critical” for Groenewald. Yolanda Huddlestone, from Huddlestone Logistics, said that Groenewald had sustained serious burns to more than 60 percent of his body during the attack in the early hours of Sunday morning. She added that the next 48 hours would be critical for the injured driver. “Our drivers aren’t safe on the roads anymore. We don’t know where you can park safely,” she said.
Huddlestone said that between 23h00 and 4h00 crime was so bad on the road that in some cases insurance was reluctant to cover losses. "They just attack you and transport drivers are fed up,” she added. The Road Freight Association revealed in May that 1 300 trucks had been damaged or destroyed since last year.
Groenewald's wife, Ciska, said, “He really doesn’t look good, but we are just hoping that he can make it.” Ciska said since no cargo had been taken, she believed the perpetrators were “just causing trouble”.
No arrests had been made and a case of attempted murder was opened by police. Touws River police and Worcester Fire Department attended the scene. Local authorities are investigating the matter.
In KwaZulu-Natal meanwhile, at least four trucks were reportedly torched on the N3 near Mooi River, Frere and Pietermaritzburg on Saturday night and on Sunday morning.
During the same night there have been reports of several attacks on trucks in KwaZulu Natal which saw at least 13 trucks burnt.
Reports claimed that:
3 trucks were burnt in Estcourt,
1 truck in Rossburgh,
3 trucks in Pietermaritzburg,
1 truck in Pinetown,
1 truck Wartburg manline
5 trucks in Cato Ridge
1 truck Mooi River
1 truck Amanzimtoti
The N3 Toll Concession is urging motorists to plan their trips between Gauteng and the coast for daylight hours. The concession's issued the advice after a number of attempts to disrupt traffic along the route have been staged at night. Spokesperson, Con Roux says violent protests, criminal activities and other disruptions must be reported immediately.
Roux says any disruption to the busy route impacts the economy, as trucks transporting goods between Durban and Johannesburg are often the targets.
Source: SA Trucker and Times Live