According to a post on Facebook, truck owners were described as a “racist cabal of Indians” who were “using our fellow (black) brothers as slaves”.
Since April last year, numerous trucks travelling, especially on the N3, have been burned and looted.
Drivers were also attacked and some were seriously injured and others have been killed. More than 60 trucks, many laden with cargo, in the past three weeks alone, have been torched.
It has been widely reported that local drivers were unhappy with the high number of foreigners being employed by logistics companies.
The allegation has also been voiced by the All Truck Drivers Forum (ATDF), an NPO with a membership of more than 4000 local drivers.
But the ATDF has distanced itself from the truck attacks.
Positive Freight Solutions (PFS), the group representing more than 300 logistics company owners, claimed its members’ trucks were being targeted by the ATDF. Last week, PFS made an urgent application to the Pietermaritzburg High Court, which cited the leadership of the ATDF as the respondents, and called on the ATDF to stop the wanton truck attacks. An interim order was granted and the matter will be heard on July 18.
The Facebook post is believed to be in response to the looming court date.
It read: “Notice to all truck operators in SA. Note no trucks will be on the road nationally on the 18 July, 2019 due to attendance of the case made against South African driver’s leadership by the Racist Cabal of Indians who are using our fellow brothers as slaves. So all South African truck driver’s will attend to Pietermaritzburg High Court and no trucks will be operated nationally on all routes of South Africa. We will sleep outside court on the 17/06/2019 and we are ready to die as police will be there to disperse us, we feel the case that is made against our leaders all by Durban’s imperialist Indian owners, who hate the South African people and substituted our people with foreign nationals. So all our brothers and sisters are going to unite nationally to attend the case and have agreed to put the keys down and call the day a Trucking Black day. #Trucking black day” means no trucks day for truck drivers. It’s a friendly warning to companies that are complying to please release your drivers and don’t force them because we don’t know what might happen. Take note it’s not going to be KZN only but nationally as it happened on the 02/06/2019. Foreign trucks can operate freely as we have no issues with them
You touch our leaders... (sic)”
However, ATDF leader Sipho Zungu said the Facebook post was not orchestrated by his organisation’s leadership, but welcomed the show of support.
He did confirm that the ATDF planned to bring the industry to a total shutdown on July 18. Zungu said the people who challenged them in court were a few Indian truck owners who had adopted a racist stance against the local drivers.
No response was received from the PFS at the time of publication.