Biker burns to death after col­li­sion

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - TANKISO MAKHETHA

A MO­TOR­CY­CLIST was burnt to death in the early hours of yes­ter­day morn­ing when his mo­tor­bike was hit by a van.

Tsh­wane metro po­lice said the man was on his mo­tor­bike in Olieven­hout­bosch when he col­lided with a van and the bike burst into flames, trap­ping the mo­tor­cy­clist.

Metro po­lice spokesman Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent Isaac Ma­hamba said the van was at­tempt­ing to avoid a ser­vice de­liv­ery protest when he crashed into the mo­tor­bike.

“The van was mak­ing a Uturn to avoid the traf­fic back­log cre­ated by the protest and didn’t see the mo­tor­bike, and that’s when they col­lided,” he said.

Both driv­ers were trav­el­ling on the R55 south, which runs past Olieven­hout­bosch. Rub­ble, rocks, and burn­ing tyres were used by pro­test­ers to bar­ri­cade the road, mak­ing it in­ac­ces­si­ble.

“The driver of the van man­aged to slip out of the van with no in­juries be­fore he could no­tice the mo­tor­cy­clist was trapped in the fire caused by the col­li­sion,” Ma­hamba said.

When The Star’s sis­ter pa­per, the Pre­to­ria News, ar­rived on the scene, about 60 peo­ple had gath­ered at the site. The biker’s charred re­mains could be seen next to the van. Foren­sic spe­cial­ists could be seen ex­am­in­ing the site, while metro po­lice di­verted traf­fic from the crash.

The protest, which be­gan around 2am, was ap­par­ently started by a small group of peo­ple de­mand­ing RDP houses.

A res­i­dent said the group ram­paged through the town- ship, leav­ing be­hind a trail of de­struc­tion.

“We don’t even know who they are. But we know they were strik­ing be­cause they want houses,” said Abel Mokoena.

Tsh­wane spokesman Bless­ing Manale said: “The pro­test­ers call them­selves the Olieven­hout­bosch Back­yard Dwellers, and were de­mand­ing houses.

“We can’t have peo­ple protest­ing be­cause they have been wait­ing for how­ever long for so­cial re­lief from the gov­ern­ment. It’s a process they are try­ing to un­der­mine and jump the queue. They have to be pa­tient as we have a process to follow.”

Manale said the city rarely ex­pe­ri­enced prob­lems in Olieven­hout­bosch, ex­plain­ing that the city had ac­quired land around the town­ship on which it would build low-cost houses.

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