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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

6 trucks torched in Mpumalanga, suspects still at large

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The police in Mpumalanga are on the lookout for a number of suspects after six trucks were set alight in separate incidents on Monday.

One incident took place in Hendrina, four at Arnot and the sixth truck was reportedly set alight in Kriel.

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi, the three incidents took place on Monday night.

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“At Hendrina, the complainant was reportedly asleep inside a parked truck when he was awoken by a noise of a breaking window of the truck,” Hlathi said.

Protesting workers from believed to be from the Optimum mine reportedly set alight 6 coal trucks and a bakkie on Thursday morning because they had not been paid in months.

“It is alleged that the complainant saw an unknown male suspect who ordered him to get out of the truck. He then reportedly saw other seven unknown male suspects who are suspected to be accomplices of the one that was next to him.”

The suspect that initially ordered the driver to get out of the truck allegedly took out a box of matches and set alight the blankets that were inside the truck.

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The suspects then fled the scene in a White Toyota Corolla after noticing that police were on the way. Police gave chase to the suspects, but they have not been arrested yet.

“Four other trucks were also reportedly burnt in Arnot. This was after one of the truck drivers was allegedly ordered to take out his belongings by an unknown male suspect who made accusations that the truck driver was among people that continued to work while others were on strike.

“Thereafter, the said driver saw other trucks that were in the same queue that he was in, burning. The reports suggest that the trucks were queuing to deliver coal at Arnot Power Station,” Hlathi said.

The estimated damage caused by the burning of these trucks amounts to approximately R5m. No arrest have been made as yet.

“At this stage police are investigating cases of malicious damage to property and request anyone with information that can lead to the arrest of the suspects involved in burning of the trucks.”

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Members of the public can contact the police on 10111 or anonymously call Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

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