Police in Calcutta are in pursuit of assailants who fatally shot a 45-year-old truck driver on the R40 Road in Marite, outside Hazyview, on Tuesday morning.
During the “heartbreaking” incident, police in Mpumalanga said some community members looted dairy products that were inside the truck, while the body of the murdered truck driver was motionless behind the steering wheel.
“The driver as well as two of his crew members were driving along the R40 Road in a truck, heading towards Bushbuckridge for a delivery,” Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said.
“As they were passing through Marite, next to a certain filling station, it is alleged that approximately four to five armed suspects emerged from the roadside with firearms.”
The armed assailants allegedly tried to stop the truck by getting onto the road.
Amidst the commotion, the truck driver reportedly made a U-turn, and bumped into another vehicle.
“Further information indicates that the suspects began firing shots towards the truck. Unfortunately, the driver was hit by the hail of bullets and the truck came to a halt after bumping into a tree after losing control as the driver was shot,” said Mohlala.
He said the other two crew members are “lucky to be alive” after sustaining some slight injuries.
“It was during this difficult moment, as victims needed urgent help but rather some members of the public are said to have helped themselves with items from the truck instead of assisting those that were in need,” said Mohlala.
“Police as well as paramedics were summoned to the scene and upon arrival, the driver was unfortunately certified dead. He has since been identified as Mr Petros Jay Magagula from Matsulu.”
A case was opened with a count of murder and robbery.
“A team of investigators has already been assembled under the leadership of the provincial commissioner of the SA Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela to probe this incident,” Mohlala added.
No one has been arrested in relation to the brutal incident so far.
Police urged anyone with information to call the Crime Stop number on 086-001-0111 or send information via My SAPS App.
Meanwhile, the Mpumalanga police commissioner, Manamela has strongly condemned the incident.
“We are really disappointed by the acts of immorality displayed in this incident. On top of the robbery and the murder of an innocent soul, people had the audacity to steal from the truck though its driver was lying motionless in the pool of blood, inside the truck,” said Manamela.
“People seems to have lost their moral campus. Be as it may, we are going to hunt down and arrest those who were involved in this incident without fear or favour.”