Tension over the touching of Lories in South Africa


The authorities in South Africa are trying to clamp down on the torching of lorries on major motorways. So far this week 21 big trucks have been set ablaze.

The arson coincides with the second anniversary of violent nationwide riots in which more than 350 people were killed.

The government insists the lorry attacks are not related, even though there are similarities in the modus operandi.

Police Minister Bheki Cele has said investigators are closing in on 12 people who have been identified as the instigators.

“They’ve been identified by names, some of them by address and some of them by the cars they drive,” Mr Cele said on Wednesday.

Several motives including economic sabotage, robbery and labour disputes are being investigated.

Soldiers had been deployed to strategic areas where arson attacks had been reported, the police minister added.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has described them as “economic sabotage” because the trucks were burnt “on the main artery of our country”.

It was the arrest of former President Jacob Zuma for contempt of court that sparked the arrest in 2021 – and led to claims that his allies were seeking to overthrow South Africa’s young democracy.

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