Zambian trucks petrol-bombed in South Africa


Protesters hurled petrol bombs at three Zambian-registered trucks in South Africa, leaving one driver with life-threatening injuries in a second attack on foreign vehicles in two weeks, officials said.

Zambia urged South Africa’s government to do more to protect its nationals, saying the assaults could hurt international trade.

Police said some attacks were carried out by people angered by truck companies hiring foreign drivers.

Three trucks were destroyed by petrol bombs in two separate attacks in Limpopo on Wednesday, Zambia’s High Commission in Pretoria said in a statement.

One Zambian driver was attacked as he drove to Groblersbrug, a border crossing with Botswana, it added.

Last week attackers burned around 30 foreign-owned trucks more than 800km south on the N3 toll road in KwaZulu-Natal, the High Commission said.

At least three of those trucks were Zambian. Police said they did not know the nationalities of other drivers.
“Many trucks were burnt. Protesters were complaining truck owners are only hiring foreign nationals,” said KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbele.

Zambia High Commissioner in South Africa, Emmanuel Mwamba, said the attacks could “halt the movement of goods and services between the countries.”

Most of Zambia’s copper exports reach the international market via South Africa’s roads and through its Durban port.