A Motswana truck driver who was working for Unitrans, a fuel transport company, was allegedly murdered in South Africa last week.
Information reaching the Sunday Standard is that the driver, who hails from Sefhophe in the Central District, was found dead on Saturday afternoon in his truck at Swartruggens in the North West Province.
It is alleged that the driver, who was with a colleague, was last seen going to a restaurant to buy food in the late hours of Friday, leaving the colleague who was retiring to sleep in his truck parked near his.
The following morning, the colleague tried to wake him up in his truck by knocking on the locked doors, but could not wake him up or get an answer.
He finally gave up and then proceeded with the journey back home into Botswana where he alerted the superiors about the incident. The senior manager then alerted the Police in South Africa where they found the deceased locked in the truck lying in a pool of blood with a bullet wound.
Reached for comment, the Human Resources Manager for Unitrans, Moses Sebolai, confirmed the incident to the Sunday Standard, saying that their employee indeed was found dead on Saturday afternoon. He said that the driver was from a refinery in Johannesburg with a colleague where they had gone to load fuel and were on their way back to Botswana.
“The two truck drivers were on their way home and they had rested at Swartruggens for a night,” he said.
An employee with Unitrans expressed anger with the company, saying that the company does not care about the welfare of the employees, especially with regards┬áto their safety. He said that they have to travel through dangerous areas at night and are never given any allowance to seek proper accommodation to rest while on duty at night.
“We are only given a meagre P76 per night. For years we have tried in vain to express our grievances, especially with regard to our safety but management has not done anything for us,” he said, refusing to be named.
Asked about the welfare of employees with regard to their safety while on duty, Sebolai said that drivers are supposed to sleep in their trucks as per the policies of the company. He said that it is unfortunate that such an incident happened and added that it is part of the hazards of the fuel transport industry.
“Drivers cannot be given accommodation money as they have to sleep in the truck as per the company policies. This is a very sensitive business so they need to safeguard the fuel in the trucks,” he said, adding that police in South Africa are currently busy with the investigations.