The relationship of fleet managers and their drivers has always been in question when it comes to working conditions.
As drivers always complain that some controllers don’t care how the job is done but just needs it done, a controller at Oakley Group proved just that.
The fleet controller, name withheld, allegedly instructed three of his truck drivers to leave Piet Retief truck stop around 20h00 to proceed to sleep in Pongola.
SA Trucker reached out to the drivers but they refused to comment fearing for their jobs.
When SA Trucker contacted the fleet controller, he did not deny nor confirm his instruction but confirmed that indeed three of his trucks were attacked on the N2.
When SA Trucker asked him why he didn’t consider the safety of his drivers and the trucks the fleet controller refused to comment.
A trucker from another company who was present when the drivers were mourning about being sent into the warzone explained to SA Trucker how the events went.
“They tried to explain to him that it was dangerous to be on the road at that time of the night but the controller could have none of it,” he told SA Trucker.
He quoted one of them saying, “my friend, we have seen drivers losing their jobs for almost no reason, and this they will fire us for disobeying orders.”
The trio left the truck stop and headed towards Pongola where violent protests had been reported earlier.
The source said that about 10km before Pongola the drivers found the road barricaded with logs and concrete blocks.
They abandoned their trucks as fled the scene.
A video has been shared on social media of their trucks which were looted of the cement they were transporting.
It’s reported that the looters stole diesel, batteries, cement and other items from the trucks.
The drivers, fearing being victimised, refused to comment but a witness confirmed none of them was injured.
Video of the aftermath of the looting below:
SA Trucker urges fellow truckers to always check with others on the current situation on their routes before leaving safe places. Night time driving in KwaZulu-Natal is discouraged until the situation gets better.