The army was deployed on Friday in several provinces where trucks have been involved in violent attacks in the past week.
Siphiwe Dlamini, spokesperson for the army, confirmed that the army is being deployed in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State to support the police in its efforts to stop the attacks on trucks.
No less than 21 trucks were set on fire within days in the provinces concerned. In most of the cases, the truck drivers escaped the attacks unscathed and not even robbed of their personal belongings.
After Bheki Cele, Minister of Police, insisted this week that the police have a “plan of action” and are “doing nothing” about the attacks, three suspects were arrested for their alleged involvement in the wave of attacks.
According to Cele, 12 suspects have been identified.
“Intelligence shows that attacks on trucks may be business-related; these are certainly not just random acts of criminality,” he said.
“Evidence shows that these are organized, coordinated and sophisticated operations that seek to undermine and sabotage the state.”
Agri SA had earlier expressed its concern about the attacks and warned that it could jeopardize food security. The agricultural organization already asked on Wednesday that the army should intervene to help protect the country’s important transport routes.
The police have meanwhile set up roadblocks on numerous main routes and regular patrols are being carried out on identified high-risk routes.