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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Petrol bombed South African truck driver fights for his life

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Huddlestone Logistics  truck driver Bernard Groenewald is fighting for his life after his vehicle was petrol bombed near Touws River on Sunday. His condition is critical after he sustained serious burns on 60% of his body.

He was chased by attackers after they petrol bombed his truck while he was resting at a lay by on N1 highway near Touws River in the Western Cape.

Yolanda Huddlestone, from Huddlestone Logistics, said that 50-year-old Bernard Groenewald had sustained serious burns to more than 60% of his body during the attack in the early hours of Sunday morning.

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She added that the next 48 hours would be critical for the injured driver.

“Our drivers aren’t safe on the roads anymore. We don’t know where you can park safely,” she said.

Huddlestone said that between 11pm and 4am crime was so bad on the road that in some cases insurance was reluctant to cover losses.

“They just attack you and transport drivers are fed up,” she added.

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Speaking to SA Trucker, Groenewald’s wife, Ciska, said “He really doesn’t look good, but we are just hoping that he can make it.”

ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak said Groenewald was found “some distance” away from the flaming truck.

Truck set alight with driver inside in Touws River

“He managed to jump out of the truck and was apparently chased by an unknown number of men, who threw another petrol bomb directly at him,” he said in a statement.

Ciska said since no cargo had been taken, she believed the perpetrators were “just causing trouble”.

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No arrests had been made and a case of attempted murder was opened by police.

This is the latest in a series of attacks on truck drivers across the country. Trucks were torched at the weekend in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Road Freight Association revealed in May that 1,300 trucks had been damaged or destroyed since last year.

All Truck Drivers Foundation (ATDF) leader Sipho Zungu has continously denied that the recent attacks has nothing to do with their struggle against the government to make sure local drivers gets hired before a firm considers hiring foreign drivers.

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