Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

‘We won’t allow SA to be lawless’: Ramaphosa confident authorities will ‘pounce’ on suspects torching trucks

Ramaphosa said 'South Africa cannot have people who just do as they wish, kill people, burn trucks and stop traffic on our highways'.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has fired a warning to those behind the destruction of public infrastructure following the recent attacks on trucks.

At least 21 trucks had been burnt in the last four days in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

The latest incident took place on Wednesday morning, where four trucks were torched in Mpumalanga on the N2 between Piet Retief and Ermelo.

‘We will go after them’

Speaking at the graduation ceremony of cadets of the National Rural Youth Service Corps in Nigel, east of Johannesburg, Ramaphosa said the attacks were against South Africa’s culture of respect for the law and the Constitution.

“We are also talking about a culture of that is against criminality [and] is against destroying public infrastructure that is meant to support and sustain the lives of South Africa,” he said.

The president said he concern about the incidents would have a negative impact on the country’s economy and warned that the authorities would go after the suspects who torched the trucks.

WATCH: Arsonist caught on video setting truck on fire in latest truck burning incident

“I would like to say that those who are involved in [such] activities, the strong arm of the law is now right about to pounce on them because we will not allow South Africa to be lawless. We will not allow South Africa to have people running around on the rampage destroying the economic assets of our country.

“We will not allow those intent on sabotaging the economy of our country to have their way. We will go after them. They will face the full might of the law,” he said.

“I have directed the police supported by other security agencies such as intelligence to do all they have to do to find these people because South Africa cannot have people like that who just do as they wish, kill people, burn trucks and stop traffic on our highways,” Ramaphosa added.

‘Co-ordinated attacks’

Police Minister Bheki Cele briefed the media on Wednesday afternoon about the recent attacks.

Cele said intelligence suggested the targeting of trucks may be business-related and not just random acts of criminality.

“Evidence before us points to organised, co-ordinated and sophisticated operations that seek to undermine and sabotage the state,” he said.

The minister refuted suggestions that the attacks were due to foreign nationals being hired as truck drivers.

He also the South African Police Service (Saps) has identified at least 12 people who could be behind the truck attacks.

“Whether it is economic sabotage, labour or service delivery related disputes, police are closing in on those who choose to use violence and intimidation for whatever motive,” he said.

Cele added that the police have heightened security on major routes across the country.

They have also roped in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to help prevent further attacks.

“All major routes have been secured and regular patrols are being conducted along identified high-risk routes.”

NOW READ: KZN premier says torching of trucks could cost SA up to R60 million

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