Trucks torched as protests flare up in Nelson Mandela Bay, road closed

Police have warned to stay away from the R335.
Police have warned to stay away from the R335.
Image: Supplied

Four trucks were damaged, a car burnt and a ward councillor's office partially torched during an ongoing protest that started on the R335 Road in Motherwell on Tuesday evening.

According to police, the protest started at about 6pm and is continuing. As a precaution, police have shut down the road as protests continue to flare up.

By 8am on Wednesday, another truck had been torched.

By 11am, police had arrested four protesters.

According to officials, the protest is about the supply of electricity to the informal area.

A bakkie burnt out on Tuesday night
A bakkie burnt out on Tuesday night
Image: supplied SAPS

Police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge said several residents took to the street and blocked the road while pelting stones and petrol bombs at passing motorists and trucks on Tuesday night.

“One bakkie was completely gutted and the driver [wounded]. As the night progressed, police managed to open the road but protesters then moved to different sections of the road,” he said. 

Beetge said that during the protest, one truck was damaged after being stoned while another truck was looted.

“The one truck managed to speed off and continued driving despite stones being thrown at it. Another truck transporting oranges was also pelted with stones but the driver stopped and fled.

"As the driver was fleeing on foot, people started shooting at him. The truck was then looted and an entire consignment of oranges stolen,” he said.

At about 4:30am, protesters attacked the ward councillor's office.

“A small group threw a flammable device [petrol bomb] at the office, damaging a part of the building. Another two devices were found outside the office,” Beetge said.

The situation was volatile and that police were trying to reopen the roads, he said.  

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