State to oppose bail for alleged truck arson suspects

The five men who allegedly torched trucks in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu -Natal and Limpopo, made their second appearance in the Ermelo Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

Nelson Khulekani Shongwe (29), Sibusiso Emmanuel Mthethwa (38) , Fundile Alberta Mpondo(41), Mafika William Sibanda(61), and Nkosingiphile Nkosikhona Gumede (27), who are members of the African Truck Drivers Forum. They are facing charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, malicious injury to property, conspiracy to commit crime of malicious injury to property and possession of an unlicensed firearm.

READ|Two suspects arrested for torching trucks

The accused appeared for verification of addresses and bail application as the state was ready to proceed. However, the defence requested for the postponement in preparation for bail application. All parties agreed and the case was postponed to 10 August 2023, for a formal bail application.

READ|Five appear in court for alleged arson attacks

“Due to the seriousness of the offences the accused are charged with, the state will oppose bail. This relates to the incident which happened early this month, where 21 trucks were burnt in the provinces.The state alleges that the accused conspired, and damaged trucks used for the transportation of goods on the N2 National road due to certain grievances in the transporting industry,” said Provincial Spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority, Monica Nyuswa.

The accused remain in custody pending the outcome of their application.

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