Eight of the 56 people who were arrested as part of the mob that looted and set alight trucks near the Mooi River Toll Plaza were found in possession of stolen property looted from the trucks. At least 35 trucks were set alight on Sunday night, 29 April, on the N3 after a group of people began throwing objects onto the freeway.

Meanwhile, 48 of those arrested were released from custody because of insufficient evidence against them. KwaZulu Natal police spokesman Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said: “The Senior Public Prosecutor had indicated to police that the evidence against 48 is insufficient, and ordered that the police release them from custody.”

The eight suspects, including two minors, appeared in the Mooi River Magistrate’s Court with six suspects remanded in custody until 7 May and the minors were released under their parents’ care.

In another incident, police are investigating a case of malicious damage to property after protestors in Winterton set two trucks alight on Thursday, 26 April, using bales of hay. According to Colenso police, the incident took place between Frere and Colenso. “Reports surfaced that unknown suspects rolled some bales of hay onto the N3 and set them alight obviously to get trucks to stop,” said a police spokesperson.

The police have made an appeal to anyone who might have information on the attack, looting and vandalising of the trucks, including video footage that could identify suspects. Anyone with info should contact Colonel Wiles from the Mooi River police on 082 469 9336.