Durban — The South African National Defence Force has been deployed to several hot spots including the N3 toll gates (Mooi River and Marianhill) to stop the ongoing torching of trucks.
Twenty trucks have been torched in three provinces in the space of a week.
On Wednesday, Police Minister Bheki Cele assured the nation that they were on the heels of 12 people of interest that are behind the torching of trucks on South African highways.
According to eNCA, there was an arrest made on Thursday in Mpumalanga and it is believed that the person detained is one of the ringleaders of this truck torching operation.
Darren Olivier, a director at African Defence Review, said it was now a norm that when adversity strikes, South Africa turns to the SANDF.
“At this point, we don’t know how many troops were sent on the ground. Even so, SANDF has a capacity of approximately 12 000, whereas SAPS has roughly 90 000 men in uniform. And bear in mind that this intervention of bringing soldiers to the ground is just a short-term solution,” said Olivier.
During the police ministry media briefing on Wednesday, national police commissioner Fannie Masemola said police units would strengthen their security presence along the country’s highways.
"Intelligence was available, but not specific as to when and what. Hence we had deployments already on our highways. We have beefed them up now.”
Truckers Association of SA president Mary Padi said if this was not addressed swiftly, South Africa ran the risk of losing jobs in the industry and across its value chain as operators considered using routes in neighbouring countries.
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