Cops investigate after truck drivers escape heavy gunfire on N3

Trucks parked outside Mediterranean Shiping Co. at City Deep in Johannesburg, 7 June 2020, during a protest against foreign nationals employed by the industry. Picture:Nigel Sibanda

Amid the alarming escalation of attacks on trucks on the N3, another two truck drivers narrowly escaped without injuries after they came under fire while driving on the N3 highway.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) are investigating a case of attempted murder, following an incident which occurred on the N3 freeway on the northern side of Heidelberg on Wednesday, 8 July.

According to Sedibeng acting district commissioner, Brigadier Pule Phillip Mokoena, the driver of a Volvo truck was on route from Johannesburg to Durban, when the driver of a Toyota Corolla Quest came up from behind and indicated his intention to pass the truck.

“The next moment however, shots were being fired from the passenger side of the vehicle towards the truck. Fearing for his life, the truck driver alerted the company’s control office before he brought the truck to a stop and jumped out to seek safety in hiding in the bushes next to the road,” Mokoena said.

READ MORE: WATCH: Anarchy as trucks burn one by one

The police were also notified and immediately responded to the incident. On arrival, they found the stationary truck with several bullet holes to the side, but no trace of the suspects.

In another separate incident, police again responded to a shooting on the N3. According to Mokoena, the truck driver was also travelling from Johannesburg to Durban, when he came under fire.

As a result, police have issued a stern warning to hauling/transport companies and truck drivers to be more vigilant while driving along N3 freeway.

“Truck drivers should be more observant and if and when they encounter a suspect vehicle behind them, it should immediately be reported to the police. The police will deploy a highly qualified team for assistance,” he said.

He added that police visibility on all national, provincial and secondary roads within the Sedibeng district policing area, will now be increased.

Earlier this week, two trucks have been set alight on the N1 near Stellenbosch on the same day as hoards of truckers downed tools demanding that government and the private sector prioritise locals over foreign nationals.

ALSO READ: We have a confused minister, striking truckers say

A large number of protesting truckers claimed government was deliberately sidelining them, leaving most locals unemployed at the expense of foreign nationals.

While protesting truckers were furious, calling governments plans delusional, operating truckers were unfortunately in a state of panic as some operating trucks were subjected to attacks. Operating truck drivers were left fearing for their lives as in one instance, a truck driver’s keys and wallet were taken by rouge protesting trucker.

This article first appeared on Heidelberg Nigel Heraut and was republished with permission.

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