Thu, 18 Jul 2019

A truck driver whose vehicle was petrol bombed in the Western Cape earlier this month has died of his injuries, according to the SA Long Distance Truckers association.

Bernard Groenewald sustained serious burn wounds after his truck was targeted on the N1, near Touws River, in the early hours of June 2.

He and his brother-in-law had pulled over on the side of the highway to rest.

While sleeping, a petrol bomb was thrown through one of the windows, ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak said at the time.

His wife, Ciska, confirmed his death to Netwerk24 on Friday night.

In a tweet, the association paid tribute to him the same night.

"Bernard fought to survive but sadly succumbed after a large part of his body was covered in third degree burns," it said.

During the attack, Groenewald managed to jump out of the truck but a group of men chased him and threw another petrol bomb at him.

Shortly after the attack, his employer, Yolanda Huddlestone of Huddlestone Logistics, said Groenewald was in a serious condition and the recovery process would be a long one.

She added that his wife, Ciska whom she drove to a hospital in Worcester, was devastated.

Huddlestone questioned what the authorities were doing to assist trucking companies because there were no safe spots for stopovers, including on the N1 between Beaufort West and Cape Town.

"Our drivers can't rest now because of attacks on their lives. We are calling on the government to do something because truck drivers are sitting ducks. This is our livelihood and also a service for the country."

The police in the Western Cape have previously confirmed that cases of attempted murder and malicious damage to property have been opened.

No arrests have been made.

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