N1 remains closed for traffic following unrest and looting

Source: Daily Mail UK

Transporters are urged to use alternative routes as the N1 Highway at De Doorns remain closed because of protest action.

Closure of the highway stemmed from last week’s public disorder between Touwsriver and De Doorns where two trucks came under attack, and their consignments were looted.

Videos were circulated on social media clearly showing protestors carrying away large boxes containing flat-screen TVs transported by Buonadonna Group from Hennenman in the Free State.

Eldrina Witbooi from the Women on Farms Project, said that people were angered by the fact that they do not have jobs.
“It’s time for the harvesting season, and it’s become clear that not all of us are going to find work on the farms,” Witbooi said.

Mike Fitzmaurice from the Federation of East and Southern African Road Transport Association (FESARTA) confirmed that there were no police on sight during last week’s sporadic looting sprees.

“My concern is that when incidents like this happen, there is no protection to ensure the safety of the drivers and security of the goods being transported.

“Protestors used burning tires to close the road, this then brought the trucks to a halt creating an opportunity for the trucks to be raided,” he said.

In another incident workers on their way to work on the back of a truck were pelted with rocks.

Police teams embarked on door-to-door raids in search of the stolen property.

Nine suspects have been arrested and are expected to appear in the Worcester court on charges of theft and one for public violence.

At the time of posting this report, Kenny Africa, head of Provincial Traffic for the Western Cape, said the area is quiet “but still considered unsafe for traffic.” - Zoe van Rooyen

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