The truck attackers must be charged with terrorism

Issued by Dianne Kohler Barnard MP – DA Shadow Minister of State Security
11 Jul 2023 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Dianne Kohler Barnard MP.

  • The DA will open a case against the truck attackers in terms of anti-terrorism legislation.
  • This will send a strong message to any criminal wanting to commit such acts.
  • The DA cannot allow the perpetrators in these attacks to walk away scot-free like the instigators in the July unrests.

The DA will open a case in terms of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act (POCDATARA Act) and demand that the SAPS conduct a full and proper investigation into the recent attacks on trucks in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

The DA will urge the National Prosecuting Authority to proceed with charges in terms of that Act. Charging these economic terrorists in terms of the POCDATARA Act will send a strong message to any criminal intending to commit acts of sabotage such as these.

The DA unreservedly condemns these strategically calculated attacks on our road freight sector the last few days. These attacks threaten our national stability and strike at the heart of our economy.

These are not isolated incidents. The sheer precision and efficiency indicate a disturbing level of coordination that has managed to outmanoeuvre the SAPS. It is a failing of our law enforcement’s intelligence arm, one that echoes the incompetence demonstrated during the July 2021 unrest that exacted a devastating human and economic toll.

The DA cannot allow the perpetrators in these attacks to walk away scot-free like the instigators in the July unrests. Here we are, two years later, with just a handfull of the masterminds named by Bheki Cele jailed. None of the perpetrators allegedly targeted have been jailed.

It’s a glaring indictment on our Police Service’s crime intelligence and senior management, which appear to have no solution on how to prevent these attacks.

These attacks have far-reaching economic consequences. Beyond the immediate destruction of property, they strike at a vital cog in our economic machinery. This isn’t mere damage; it’s economic sabotage, designed to send shockwaves through an economy already reeling from multiple crises. The ripple effects will, inevitably, hit the most vulnerable South Africans hardest, with global businesses considering redirecting their operations towards safer African ports.

By contrast, the DA will not allow the economy and businesses to suffer at the hand of these mafias and cartels. In terms of the POCDATARA Act, any act that involves systematic, repeated, or arbitrary use of violence by any means or method, or which causes substantial damage to any property, or causes any major economic loss or extensive destabilization of an economic system or substantial devastation of the national economy of a country, or which intimidates, induces, or causes feelings of insecurity, including economic security, is defined as a terrorist activity.

And that is exactly what this is.

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