Police have rubbished weekend news reports which suggested that the recent spate of arson attacks targeting haulage trucks is linked to the All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied SA and Operation Dudula - organisations which have been fighting the employment of foreign nationals in the transport sector.
City Press, citing a leaked crime intelligence report, reported that the All Truck Drivers Forum and Allied SA and Operation Dudula have been blamed for the rampant attacks in which at least 21 trucks were destroyed in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo.
Speaking to broadcaster Newzroom Afrika, deputy national police commissioner responsible for crime detection, Lieutenant General Shadrack Sibiya said the weekend newspaper reports implicating the organisations are from a document which is “just misleading”.
“This is a leaked document that is not anywhere closer to the truth. We reject it with the contempt it deserves. There is no truth about it. We do know the people that are involved … so this leaked document is just misleading,” said Sibiya.
He said he does not have the purported crime intelligence report, and denied its existence.
“What I can tell you is that among the people that have been arrested, none of them even belong to Dudula. It is just pure labour related matters in the labour industry, the employees in the trucking industry.
“Our own investigation revealed that these are employees that work for the trucking industry that are not happy with the fact that their employers employ foreign nationals. Whenever they try to negotiate for a better salary, and they get dismissed, obviously the employers will rely on employing foreign nationals,” said Sibiya.
Over the weekend, police said two more people have been arrested in connection with the arson attacks.
“Two more suspects have been arrested for the torching of trucks,” SAPS national spokesperson, Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said in a statement.
“All five suspects arrested for the torching of trucks were all arrested in Mpumalanga. The search for more suspects continues,” she said.
Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa warned that the police and other law enforcement agencies will nab those behind the torching of trucks across the country.
He said they would not allow a group of people to sabotage the economy.
Ramaphosa said he directed the SAPS, intelligence agencies and other security structures to go after the people burning trucks.