Six in court for grabbing groceries during violent freeway looting

02 May 2018 - 13:10 By Jackie Clausen And Nivashni Nair
Six people appeared in the Mooi River Magistrate's court on May 2 2018 for allegedly stealing groceries off trucks during violent protests last week that closed the N3 freeway.
Six people appeared in the Mooi River Magistrate's court on May 2 2018 for allegedly stealing groceries off trucks during violent protests last week that closed the N3 freeway.
Image: Jackie Clausen

Six people appeared in the Mooi River Magistrate's Court on Wednesday for allegedly stealing meat‚ bread‚ peanut butter‚ mayonnaise and tissues off trucks during the weekend's violent protests that closed the N3 freeway.

Wiseman Mthalane‚ Siphiwe Sithole‚ Sandile Khwela‚ Mzwakhe Khumalo‚ Xolisile Lamula and Nkanyiso Sikhosana have been charged with theft.

According to the charge sheet‚ the five men and a woman‚ were allegedly found in possession of a 6kg box of sausages‚ a 6kg box of pork burgers‚ three 9kg boxes of ribs‚ three 9kg boxes of boerewors patties‚ 10kg of steaklets‚ 4.8kg of chicken fillets‚ 8kg of mince‚ 48 bottles of mayonnaise‚ 18 loaves of bread‚ five bottles of peanut butter‚ and 96 boxes of tissues.

The goods belonged to Famous Brands.

Two others who are minors appeared in the magistrate's chambers. The suspects were arrested on Sunday during the violent protests when trucks were set alight and looted.

At the time provincial police commissioner Bheki Langa said a group of people threw stones onto the freeway and set the vehicles alight at 7pm on Sunday.

Fifty-four people were arrested for public violence‚ which delayed travel plans for hundreds of motorists and tourists into and out of the province. Only the six of the suspects were in the dock on Wednesday‚ when the case was postponed to May 7 for further investigation.

According to the provincial Transport‚ Community Safety‚ and Liaison Department‚ the upheaval on the N3 freeway stemmed from a labour grievance.

Departmental spokesman Kwanele Ncalane said South African truck drivers were unhappy that foreign nationals were given jobs. They had held a similar protest during the Easter weekend.

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