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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

No bail for five ATDF men who torched truck in KZN

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Durban – An Estcourt magistrate has denied bail for five men who allegedly set a truck alight near the town’s Ultra City earlier this month, saying their alleged crimes contributed to destabilising the economy and had caused fear among foreign and local truck drivers.

The five men – Bongokwakhe Ngubane, 36, Thamsanqa Ndawonde, 37, Mduduzi Ngubane, 37, Sihle Nnembe, 32, and Moses Magubane, 50, have been charged with extortion, attempted murder and malicious damage to property.

Their case has been remanded to October 23.

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Magistrate Arthi Sookraj denied the men bail, saying they could harbour resentment towards truck drivers and were a threat to their safety.

The court was told that the men belonged to the All Truck Drivers Forum (ATDF) that had been calling for the trucking industry to hire local drivers and not foreigners.

The forum has also been part of negotiations with the truck owners organisation, Professional Freight Solutions (PFS), about the issue of employment for South African drivers.

It was alleged in court that when negotiations did not go their way, some association members resorted to violence.

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SA Trucker reported their arrest on September 1, shortly after the truck was set alight.

At the time, police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said the vehicle that the men were travelling in was positively identified in a case where a truck was set alight.

“The suspects were found in possession of receptacles containing petrol.

“They were detained at Estcourt SAPS for attempted murder and malicious damage to property.”

The complainant – whose name is being withheld for safety reasons – told the court that he was driving his truck on the N3 before the Estcourt Ultra City when shots were fired at him. It is believed the shooters were travelling in a silver Mercedes.

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The complainant said he stopped the truck, abandoned it and fled into the bush to hide.

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