54 people arrested after trucks torched

Dozens of people have been arrested in the wake of violent protests in Mooi River on Sunday night‚ police said.

Provincial Police Commissioner Bheki Langa said police arrested 54 people for public violence. He said that a group of people began throwing objects onto the N3 freeway and set trucks alight around 7.30pm on Sunday night. The N3 and the R103 were closed overnight as police clashed with rioters.

Joburg-Durban road still closed after protesters torch about 20 trucks

“This is totally unacceptable and we will not condone people venting their anger by damaging private and public property or blockading our national roads. We will intensify our operations and ensure that those responsible face the full might of the law‚” he said.

“Any person who blocks our national roads will be treated as an ordinary criminal and will face the full might of the law. There are many avenues for people to voice their grievances and resorting to criminality is definitely not one of them.”

The suspects are due to appear in the Mooi River Magistrate’s Court on Monday. Transport‚ Community Safety and Liaison Department spokesman Kwanele Ncalane said that the upheaval stemmed from a labour dispute.

“This is the same issue from the Easter weekend in which South African truck drivers are unhappy that foreign drivers are given jobs. We started an intervention then and we were already in the process of resolving these issues‚” he said.

“We had information that these same truck drivers were going to shut down the toll on May Day and we had begun planning to deal with it. I think they must have gotten wind that we knew about it and brought their uprising forward.”

He said that MEC Mxolisi Kaunda was on the ground to engage with law enforcement officials.

By: Jeff Wicks -TimesLIVE

Source: TMG Digital.

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