In pictures: Vehicles burnt as protest turns violent

Firefighters douse flames engulfing a truck set alight by protesters last night on the N2 near Bluewater Bay.
Picture: Brian Witbooi

Violent protests in the Motherwell area resulted in traffic jams yesterday and damage to several vehicles, including a truck which was petrolbombed last night.

Other vehicles were forced to make U-turns and face the oncoming traffic in an effort to escape.

Police and traffic officers advised motorists to be vigilant when driving on the Addo Road, Ikamvelihle in Motherwell, and the N2.

Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said several vehicles, including an Algoa Bus Company bus, an ambulance, a truck and two bakkies were damaged.

“The protest was triggered when 80 Wells Estate residents were served with eviction notices by the sheriff,” Beetge said.

Picture: Brian Witbooi

“The group resorted to burning tyres. Not long after that, there were reports of vehicles being stoned.”

Truck driver Thozamile Kula, who works for Ibhayi Cleaning Logistics, said he was returning from the Coega area on his way to the company’s warehouse when he was confronted by a group of protesters who then pelted the vehicle with stones.

He was travelling on the N2 near the Motherwell turnoff.

“I stopped the truck in the left-hand lane, pulled up the brake and got out.

“They started to chase me,” Kula said. “I overheard them saying ‘get hold of the driver’.

“They hit me in the back with a stone, but I managed to escape. I was very scared.”

Earlier in the day, suspected perlemoen poaching kingpin Julian Brown came to the rescue of a man whose bakkie had been set alight.

Picture: Eugene Coetzee

Shaken Bay resident Vincent Barnes said a group of protesters surrounded his bakkie, setting it alight after it had been pelted with stones.

A bucket containing four petrol bombs found near the bakkie was confiscated by police.

Barnes, who owns a grass cutting business, watched helplessly as his bakkie burnt and equipment was stolen from his trailer.

“I am still shell-shocked. The group was throwing stones. I do not know how they missed me. I am just glad to be alive,” Barnes said.

The attack happened at about 2pm when Barnes and four of his employees were returning from a job.

Barnes said he had spotted a group of between 10 and 15 protesters burning tyres and throwing stones about 500m from the Motherwell turnoff.

“I tried to make a U-turn but in the process my trailer with lawn-mowers got hooked,” he said. “The group surrounded me and started to throw stones. They could have killed me. I am lucky to be alive.”

Brown, who grabbed headlines following his arrest in June last year on a number of charges including racketeering, was driving past at the time.

He said he was on his way to the Aldo Scribante racetrack when he noticed a traffic jam on the N2 and managed to negotiate his way up to the spot where Barnes was trapped.

“I saw that his trailer had jackknifed. He was surrounded by a group of people who were pushing and banging his bakkie,” he said.

“There was another group of people standing next to a fence. I drove in their direction and they ran away. I then called the police,” Brown said.

Brown’s Ford Ranger was also pelted with stones.

Picture: Brian Witbooi

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