STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pretoria- Wednesday 16th May 2018
The South African Government has assured the Zambian Truck Drivers and Transporters travelling to South Africa of Safety.
Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa His Excellency Mr Emmanuel Mwamba was assured in a meeting held at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation DIRCO in Pretoria.
Mr Mwamba said, safety Measures have been put in place at highways, borders and Toll Plazas have been secured and have now been given a higher security presence.
He said the roads and high-ways international truck drivers use will also benefit from increased police patrols.
In the meeting Mr. Mwamba also expressed concern that the perceived rising feelings against foreign nationals, especially Africans in South Africa required urgent attention and coordinated efforts by all to avoid loss of life and property.
Mr. Mwamba said he was comforted to learn that suspected perpetrators who burnt the trucks have been arrested in both incidences and have been arraigned before courts.
On two separate incidences, protesters burnt trucks in Kwazulu Natal and Limpopo province in which 6 Zambian trucks were caught up and burnt to ashes.
The most serious incidence occurred when over 30 foreign trucks were burnt or damaged, near the Mooi River Toll Plaza on the N3 Freeway in Kwazulu Natal.
In this incidence, the South African Police Service (SAPS) arrested 54 people involved in the violent protest.
Another incident occurred near Groblersbrug near Bostwana- South African border where 3 Zambian trucks were burnt by angry protesters five people have since been arrested by the Police.
The five suspects appeared in the Phalala Magistrate court on charges of Assault and Malicious damage to property
Mr Mwamba Further Confirmed that the attempt by the Five suspects to appeal for release from Custody on bail was denied by the Polokwane High court and are expected to appear back in court on 31st May 2018.
He has advised however, that truck drivers should endeavour to avoid routes or areas where protests or demonstrations are reported or occurring.
He Mentioned that his office will continue to monitor the situation.
Mrs Naomi Nyawali First Secretary
Press and Public Relations
Zambia High Commission Pretoria South Africa