Ramaphosa condemns 'mindless, bloody lawlessness' on freight truck attacks

"We cannot tolerate this loss of life and destruction of property."

One of two trucks that were on fire on the N12 in Daveyton, Benoni on 25 November 2020. Picture: Via @EWNTraffic/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday called recent attacks on freight trucks as "mindless and bloody lawlessness".

Ramaphosa offered condolences to families and colleagues of drivers who lost their lives "through the intimidation and violence perpetrated by criminals" in attacks that began last week, and wished the injured and traumatised individuals a speedy recovery.

Two drivers escaped unharmed when their trucks were petrol-bombed on the N12 east of Johannesburg early on Wednesday morning. Nearly 30 trucks were targeted in the past week.

"As South Africans, we cannot possibly tolerate the mindless and bloody lawlessness with which the road freight industry is being targeted. We cannot tolerate this loss of life and destruction of property."

He also commended the police for arrests made in Gauteng in the past 24 hours.

"The president is confident that perpetrators in all parts of the country will be brought to book," the statement read.

The statement also added that Ramaphosa "deeply concerned about the effect of this violence on owners and employees of the affected trucking companies, as well as the economic disruption caused by these acts just as the country is focused on rebuilding the economy".

According to the statement, Ramaphosa has requested that Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi, Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Police Minister Bheki Cele submit a report on the matter to him. A deadline for the submission was not provided.

Meanwhile, the Road Freight Industry on Wednesday called for stronger action and intervention from the Presidency after the recent attacks.

"We've called on the president to take a leading role, we've called on him to show South Africa where we need to go. The response is greatly appreciated and he's saying the right things but I think we still want him to drive this process," said the Road Freight Association's Gavin Kelly.

Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.