A truck driver has been hospitalised after he was stabbed and assaulted allegedly by protesting National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) members in Boksburg on Wednesday.

The incident took place at about 8 am while the driver of the Environcyle De Wildt truck parked his vehicle along Van Dyk Road.

A company official who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation confirmed the incident and said the driver had been taken to hospital.

“They assaulted him and also damaged the truck. He was also stabbed and we do not know why. Protestors also damaged the truck. The driver was taken to hospital and we believe he will soon be discharged. It is really a painful thing that happened; they could have killed him.

“We are more concerned about the driver because the truck … you can replace but not the life,” said the company official.

A witness who saw the attack told Sowetan that protesting Numsa members pulled the driver out of the truck and assaulted him. “They pulled him out of the vehicle and started beating him. There were so many of them,” the witness said.

Trucker injured during numsa protest
Truck driver injured during Numsa strike. Pic supplied

But Numsa members who were protesting in the area denied assaulting anyone. Numsa began its strike for an 8% pay increase in the engineering and metals sector on Tuesday. Workers have been protesting in different parts of the country demanding a pay hike.

In Boksburg, several companies were forced to close as protesters wielding sticks marched on the streets. Armed security guards were called as some employers said they feared that the worst could happen.

Wayne Julian, who runs an equipment hire company along Commissioner Road, said about 15 protestors tried to storm into the company premises. “We were forced to close for the sake of our staff. I’ve phoned my customers and told them not to come here because it is really not safe. We are losing business because of this,” Julian said.

Police monitored the situation as more companies called for guards armed with assault rifles. The move angered the protesting workers, who complained that the vehicles used by security guards did not have registration numbers.

 

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