Freestate police spent most of Wednesday working to bring stability to the N3 area near Harrismith after protestors allegedly petrol bombed a truck bringing traffic to a stand still.
Regional SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said that it had been alleged that service delivery protestors had thrown a petrol bomb at the truck near Harrismith on the N3 at Bergview, which then caught alight. The incident occurred at around 1pm in the afternoon.
Watch a video from the scene at Harrismith here:
“Another truck closed the road upon turning inside the road. Fortunately the driver wasn’t injured during this incident. The police are still working hard to bring stability and allow traffic to flow freely,” Makhele said.
Posts on social media about the N3 Harrismith protests at 3.45pm on Wednesday indicated: “#N3DurbanBound near Harrismith. Truck involved entire road obstructed. Traffic stacked on scene. Please approach the area with caution and your patience its highly appreciated.”
Violent service delivery protests broke out in the Harrismith earlier this week. Scores, possibly hundreds, of protestors threw rocks at cars on the N3 on Tuesday. Public order police had to intervene, firing rubber bullets to disperse the violent crowd.
“The police are still monitoring the situation in and around various places of Harrismith, Tshiame, Khalanyoni and Makgolokweng Village with unpredictable violent protests,” Makhele said earlier on Wednesday morning.
Makhele said the police had arrested six people on connection with the violent protest on the N3 after a road was barricaded with rocks and burning tyres.
“The protesters were also throwing petrol bombs towards the on passing traffic and police,” Makhele said.
“Some of protesters were carrying old corrugated iron sheet used as shields approaching police on the road. The N3 was closed for a while for safety of motorists. Later the police managed to disperse the protestors and the road was opened again,” Makhele said.
The suspects are expected to appear in the Harrismith Magistrate’s court on Friday, 17 June 2021.