The Guard

The Truth On Board


By Libuseng Nyaka

HARRISMITH – A  -35-year truck  driver was burned to death after he lost control of his vehicle  due to protester allegedly throwing stones at him while trying to pass by Makgolokweng near Harrismith town in the eastern Free State  at about 10:45 on Wednesday.

According to Free State police spokesperson  Brigadier  Motantsi Makhale it is alleged that witness  saw a few people standing at the Makgolokweng turnoff throwing stones at this truck .

“Apparently as a result thereof , the driver of the truck lost control and drove into the veld where the truck hit an embankment and caught fire. It is alleged by police who arrived first at scene found a Scania truck with a trailer burning in the veld. Police could not see the driver until after the fire has subsided. They saw a body on the  passenger seat  burned to death,” Makhele explained in a statement.

Truck driver burns to death.

The deceased is the second person to be killed during the protest against service delivery. The first victim of  service delivery protest was  a -15 year- old Jevano Laim Siegel who was killed in Mangaung after he was hit by a bullet when a security guard was trying to scare the protestors.

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele the deceased whose name is withheld until his family is formally notified was discovered by another truck driver who was passing  in the area at the Makgolokweng turnoff driving on the opposite side.

“The police at Harrismith received a phone call from the owner of the truck company  reporting that his driver, who was driving to Durban , informed him that he was driving past Harrismith on N5 near Makgolokweng turnoff  and that he saw another truck from another company driving opposite direction”.

The Clanwilliam in the Western cape  truck driver’s  death, stemmed from violent protests by residents of Harrismith , Intabazwe  and Makgolokweng ,that started on Monday and continued to Thursday.

Meanwhile a 30 year old woman has been injured and fractured after she ran into a moving police Nyala.

Disgruntle residents of Maluti-a-phofung local municipality   accuses municipality of neglecting them and want to be removed  out and be  independent or  put under  another municipality .

“I can tell you these people cannot fix our roads, cannot provide electricity and water. On top of all this area we have got people who have livestock and the they eat pampers but municipalities has 240 farms. Those farms are owned by friends of the Politian’s,” said  Neo Motaung a community leader from Harrismith

Residents vow to continue with their strike until they grievances are heard. The complain about unreliable provision of water and electricity as well spillage of sewerages. Irate residents blocked the roads with burning tyres and were also threatening to block N3 route. The protest has since escalated to other town in Phuthaditjhaba, Bluegumbush  and Makgalaneng where roads were also barricaded. 

 A case of culpable homicide is being investigated.

Meanwhile Free State MEC for Cooperative governance and traditional affairs has intervened and engaged in a meeting with residents.

At least 30 people  of which three are minor have been arrested at  Harrismith