A truck driver burnt to death in his vehicle during protest action near Harrismith in the Free State on Wednesday night.
The driver lost control of the vehicle after protesters threw stones at it. It caused the truck to veer off the road and catch alight, police have said.
The owner of another trucking company reported the incident to the Harrismith police after his employee spotted the burning vehicle on the N5, near the Makgolokoeng turn-off on Wednesday at around 18:45, police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said.
“It is further alleged that a witness saw a few people standing at the Makgolokoeng turn-off and saw one of them throwing a stone at this truck. Apparently, as a result thereof, the driver of the truck lost control and drove into the veld, where the truck hit an embankment and caught fire,” Makhele said.
When police arrived on the scene, they found the trailer of the Scania truck alight.
“The police could not see the driver until after the fire had subsided. They saw the body on the passenger seat of the truck ‘burnt’ to death,” Makhele said.
The owner of the truck said the driver was a 35-year-old employee from Clanwilliam in the Western Cape. No further details will be released until his family has been formally notified.
A case of culpable homicide is being investigated, Makhele added.