Community organisation Operation Dudula has distanced itself from the truck attacks, which saw at last 21 trucks being set alight in provinces such as KZN, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
Last week, the burning of trucks took centre stage following the first incident, which happened in Van Reenen in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Since then, the SAPS have confirmed the arrest of at least six people in Limpopo and Mpumalanga in connection with the torching incidents. All of the accused are expected to make their first court appearance at various courts in both provinces this morning.
In a statement posted on social media, Operation Dudula secretary general Zandile Dabula said neither the movement nor its members were not in any way involved in the widespread truck attacks.
“Operation Dudula distances itself from the allegations that it is involved in the truck burning incidents taking place countrywide.’’ Operation Dudula said it would not destroy infrastructure that helps the country’s economy flourish.
“They should come and tell us who is involved, but Operation Dudula distances itself from all this. We cannot be burning the same trucks that we are fighting to employ our people,” Dabula said.
On Wednesday, Police Minister Bheki Cele said the police had identified at least 12 people of interest in the matter, with Colonel Athlenda Mathe saying police will be making more arrests.
“We are still hot on the heels of those behind these attacks. Our investigations are pointing us in the direction of KZN, where we do believe that these ring leaders are. It is just a matter of time until we close in on these suspects,” Mathe said.
Last week, roads in the country became a battleground for freight companies and truckers who said they are living in fear, as they could become victims of truck attacks.
Last week, The Star reported that Mpumalanga and KZN as well as Limpopo have been at the centre of truck torching which began after six trucks were set alight on the N3 near Van Reenen’s Pass in the early hours of last Sunday morning.
These were followed by subsequent torchings in Limpopo and Piet Retief, Ermelo, and as well as on the N4, following the first incident in KZN on Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, 16 persons were reported to have been detained by KwaZulu-Natal police after they were seen loading allegedly stolen tyres into a truck. The suspects included an off-duty police officer, the owner of a tyre fitting shop, his wife, and his son.
It is alleged that the police received reports of a truck that was reportedly hijacked in mysterious circumstances in Umbilo on Saturday afternoon, 15 July 2023. The truck was recovered within an hour in Springfield, but it was empty.
According to reports, police intelligence led the police to a tyre fitment centre in New Germany, where the suspects were found loading the suspected stolen tyres onto another truck. Preliminary investigations suggest that the hijacked truck made a stop at the tyre fitment centre to offload the tyres before it was abandoned in Springfield.