Truck owner blames protesters for crash after the vehicle was pelted with stones
AN APPARENTLY unconscious truck driver crashed into a Warrenton home after he was reportedly pelted with stones by protesters on the N12 last week.
The truck driver was found unconscious after he lost control of the truck and drove through a residential fence and crashed into the house.
The homeowner wants answers as to who is liable to foot the bill for the damage to the house.
Northern Cape police spokesperson Captain Sergio Kock said on Monday that the Warrenton SAPS are investigating a case of reckless and negligent driving after a truck crashed into a house next to the N12 in Warrenton.
Kock said the incident happened at about 8.50pm on Wednesday night when protesters in Warrenton apparently stoned the vehicle.
“The male truck driver sustained serious head injuries and was transported to Kimberley Hospital,” said Kock.
The truck was reportedly travelling from Postmasburg to Wolmaransstad.
The driver was discharged from hospital on Friday.
The affected family said they heard a loud noise and were met with the sight of the front of a truck crashed into the wall of their home when they went outside to investigate.
They opened a case at Magareng police station on the same night after the driver was rushed to hospital.
The truck was removed from the scene the next day.
A family representative said that the family had to find temporary shelter following the incident due to safety concerns. They fear that the wall might collapse.
He added that they are now also worried about theft and vandalism as no one is staying at the house.
“We need answers because the owner of the truck has gone silent and the municipality is not giving us the way forward,” he said.
“Anyone can see that the wall is only hanging by a thin thread and will be blown down by a small wind.”
The owner of the truck, Nkosi Khumalo, said he went to meet the family following the incident and offered to assist them to repair the damages.
Khumalo said the accident was not due to his driver’s negligence, and he blamed the incident on the protesters who were throwing stones at cars on the N12.
“I admitted to having offered a partial payment, due to affordability, to assist the family,” said Khumalo. “I can’t afford to pay for everything because my company has already suffered a loss due to this.
“I also have to assist in footing the medical costs of the driver, and to help feed his family that consists of eight children.”
Magareng Municipality said on Monday it still has to discuss the matter of damages suffered during the protest action.
Municipal spokesperson Thapelo Jacobs said that they heard of the incident, but that there was no formal report compiled on the matter.
He added that several properties, including the homes of the mayor and councillors, were damaged after being stoned by protesters.
He said a portion of the municipal building was also damaged by fire during the protest.
“All we know is that the councillors were at the house to check, as we would not want to be seen as being inconsiderate. But we are guided by the legislation and have to quantify all the damages caused once we receive formal reports and claims from all the victims,” said Jacobs.
The police have urged anyone with information on the crash to contact Detective Warrant Officer Robby Payne on 082 929 4677.