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18 caught stealing KZN road guard-rails

2014-05-31 17:18

THEFT THAN CAN KILL: 18 men have been arrested for stealing steel roadside guard rails in KZN at the potential cost of families' lives. Image: Shutterstock

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More than 130 vehicles - cars, vans, trucks, semi-trailers - piled into each other in thick fog on a freeway in Belgium on Tuesday Dec 3 2013. One, possibly two, people were killed. Five people were reported with life-threatening injuries, eight were seriously injured and 54 sustained light injuries

HILLCREST, kwaZulu-Natal - Eighteen people have been arrested for theft of road guard-rails near here.

A spokesman for the KZN transport department said on Saturday (May 31 2014) the thieves were arrested on Shongweni Road, near Hillcrest, off the N3 and M13, on Friday night.

The spokesman added: "The arrest came as the government intensifies its clampdown on crime, fraud and corruption generally but specifically to eliminate factors contributing to road deaths."

SAFETY JACKETS

A department area foreman caught the men in the act at about 9pm and alerted the Durban regional head. "Hillcrest police and the road traffic inspectorate were immediately called to arrest the men - three South Africans and 15 foreigners."

Each thief wore a reflective safety jacket to create the impression of being legitimate road-workers.
Their eight-ton truck did not have registration plates but a temporary licence usually given to new vehicles.

Transport MEC Willies Mchunu lauded the swift police response. "Our province experiences an unacceptable rate of road accidents, crashes and deaths, partly due to the theft of guard rails and road-safety signs.

"It is becoming clear that we have is a syndicate going all-out to endanger the lives of road users in their quest to score profits through illicit means."
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