Driver shot, badly assaulted in coal truck hijacking

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

A truck driver was shot in the leg and severely assaulted by four occupants of a minibus taxi before they dumped him in a remote area and stole his truck.

Joseph Mthimunye, 50, of KwaMhlanga, Mpumalanga, who was transporting coal to Amersfoort in a Nissan truck, was hijacked at Plaatrand along the Standerton-Perdekop Road on Wednesday, police said.

Inspector Thabiso Ncongwane said Mthimunye spotted a minibus taxi "trying to overtake him on the left hand side of the road. He then stopped the truck".

"The minibus stopped next to the truck and four men alighted from it and approached the truck.

"Without a word, one of them fired at Mthimunye, wounding him in the leg. The others then assaulted him before tying his hands and legs," Ncongwane said.

He said they loaded Mthimunye into the minibus while one of them took control of the truck.

"After driving a distance, they dumped him under a bridge at Perdekop," Ncongwane said.

"He was picked up by a local farmer who drove him to the police station to lay a hijacking charge."

Ncongwane said Mthimunye had also sustained body and facial injuries as a result of the severe assault by his attackers. He was receiving treatment in hospital.

The truck and its load are still missing and no arrests have been made yet.