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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Truck drivers, EFF, and taxis shut down the Lebombo border post over crime

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Truck drivers, EFF and taxi operators have blockaded the N4 toll road between Komatipoort and the Lebombo Border Post between South Africa and Mozambique protesting against the police’s failure to protect them from criminals.

This after two truck drivers were reported to have been kidnapped in Komatipoort, Mpumalanga in the past 24 hours.

It is alleged that a group of about 40 people pounce on unsuspecting drivers and either rob them of their belongings or kidnap them. The drivers allege that the alleged kidnappers demand ransom for the safe return of the victims.

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The drivers are demanding that law enforcement agencies patrol the 10-kilometre stretch toward the border.

According to SABC, more than 160 police officials were deployed last month at the Lebombo Border Post ahead of the festive season.

A joint operation by the police, SARS and Home Affairs has assessed the state of readiness to ensure smooth operations during the December holidays.

Sifiso Nkuna, from EFF in Ehlanzeni, said they are tired of the crime at the border gate. EFF wants the police to deal with the alleged group of criminals who call themselves the Challengers.

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Read | Trucker disappears after R29.3 million cocaine haul is found in truck at Lebombo border

Nkuna said they will not open the road until one of the MECs, either Vusi Shongwe of the Mpumalanga Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison, or Mandla Ndlovu of the Department of Public Works, Roads, and Transport, comes to address them.

“These Challengers are damaging people’s cars, robbing them of their belongings, and raping women, young and old. Nothing is being done to deal with them,” said Nkuna.

Just last week, Truck Drivers Without Borders reported that the gangsters attacked truck drivers near the Lebombo border post. The attackers assaulted the drivers and stole from their trucks which were queueing to cross the border into Mozambique. The assault left some drivers severely injured and needing medical assistance.

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