PHOTOS: Truck attacks arsonist, Nelson Khulekani Shongwe, has been arrested for set trucks on fire in Piet Retief, Mpumalanga KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Thursday, July 13, 2023

PHOTOS: Truck attacks arsonist, Nelson Khulekani Shongwe, has been arrested for set trucks on fire in Piet Retief, Mpumalanga

Information reaching Kossyderrickent has it that Truck attacks arsonist, Nelson Khulekani Shongwe, has been arrested for set trucks on fire in Piet Retief, Mpumalanga.

He was arrested around 01:00 this morning on the farm Lunerberg, outside Piet Retief. 

The arrest of Nelson Khulekani Shongwe was confirmed by The Citizen newspaper. The alleged arsonist caught on dash-cam footage setting trucks alight near Piet Retief yesterday, was caught this morning, signalling a breakthrough for police in establishing a motive for the cross-border attacks.

Nelson Khulekani Shongwe is facing three charges of malicious damage to property after a tip-off led police to his doorstep.

On Wednesday, police minister Bheki Cele announced that 12 people of interest had been identified through investigation and intelligence collection, with most of them located in the northern KwaZulu-Natal area.

Cele said evidence pointed to “organised co-ordinated and sophisticated operations that seek to undermine and sabotage the state”.

National police commissioner Fannie Masemola said police were in possession of videos they were analysing and would “follow up on those people that are on those videos”.

In one of the recent videos, a dashcam from a truck’s cabin shows the driver stopping his vehicle and then talking to the person who had stopped him through the window.

He then gets out of the truck and another man wearing a hoodie takes the driver’s seat and starts spraying a flammable substance on the bed behind and sets the truck on fire.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brig Selvy Mohlala said he did not know anything about the arrest and asked SowetanLIVE for more information. 

There have been separate incidents on the N2, N3 and N4 highways.

The latest four trucks were targeted by armed men and the drivers were told to leave their vehicles before the trucks were set alight.

Police say the latest incident happened in the early hour of Wednesday morning. The South African Police Service spokesperson in Mpumalanga Selvy Mohlala confirmed: "Three of them [trucks] are seriously burned and one is partially burned... It is alleged that people emerged from the grasses and approached the trucks with firearms, and instructed the drivers to get out of the trucks or otherwise they will burn them inside the trucks, the drivers then had no alternative but to leave the trucks and run away.”

The devastating blitzkrieg on trucks by arsonists, gives more credence to the existence of a “mining-mafia” operating in the country, after police confirmed that the 21 trucks destroyed up to now, have been transporting either coal or chrome.

Attacks, whereby arsonists follow almost the exact modus operandi, by forcing truck drivers from their vehicles, often taking the Identity Documents, and then setting the truck cabins alight, have been reported in Mpumalanga, KZN and Limpopo.


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