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Port Elizabeth -
A casual labourer was severely burned and his driver attacked by a panga-wielding mob in Nelson Mandela Bay on Friday as a truck was petrol-bombed during a wage dispute, the Weekend Post reported.
Workers believed to be affiliated to the SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) petrol-bombed the truck transporting casual labourers to the Classic Processed Products (CPP) processing factory in Markman township shortly after 5am.
This is the second truck belonging to labour contractors True Labour Concept, which has been supplying casual labourers to CPP, to be bombed within a week.
Last Friday a truck was bombed outside the same driver's house in Motherwell.
The striking workers are demanding a 2o percent or R450 increase.
When paramedics arrived on the scene, the passenger, Malungisa Nochongo, was writhing in pain, having suffered severe burns to his back. He was admitted to St George's Hospital where he is in critical condition.
As the driver fled the burning truck, he was attacked by a mob carrying sticks, pangas and spears, and suffered deep lacerations to his face and head.
Six other labourers fled the inferno, suffering minor injuries.
Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said the factory had been embroiled in a labour dispute with workers for the past seven weeks.
“To continue with its operations, the company has been employing casuals who are transported by the truck every day,” Beetge said.
He said when the truck arrived at 5.30am, the workers threw sticks and stones and eventually petrol-bombed the vehicle. The entire cab in which the driver sat was razed.
CPP's security company, Impact Loss Control, was also on the scene.
Impact owner Trevor Wilson said his security officer, the only witness to the incident, went to open the gate for the truck at about 5.15am.
“About 10 men ran out of a shack from across the road carrying sticks, stones and bottles and started attacking the truck that was bringing in labour.
“Once they got openings into the truck, they threw a petrol bomb into the truck,” he said.
“They had malicious intent to cause harm and show that nobody is going to work here while they are on strike. The person that was badly burned was a young guy. His skin was hanging off his body and his spinal cord was exposed.”
Beetge said two cases of attempted murder and malicious damage to property had been opened. - Sapa