A truck driver employed by Karibu Namibia Trading has been missing for almost a week now.

Vilho Njati departed Namibia on May 9 and spent the following week on the road according to plan. But on May 16, he diverted from the scheduled route after he stopped at the Harrismith Smith truck stop on the N3, which connects the Johannesburg and Durban routes, to refuel.

After refuelling, he was supposed to take the N5 route to Bethlehem, but he took the N3 route towards Johannesburg instead, which colleagues at Karibu Namibia Trading speculated could be to avoid protests that frequently occur in that area of South Africa.

Tutangeni Nambinga, a cousin and colleague, has been in communication with authorities and other colleagues in South Africa and neighbouring countries.

"We tried reaching out to Panduleni without any luck to get hold of him. We thought everything was fine and he might get back to us. The next day, the tracking was out. The tracker was already pulled out of the truck Panduleni was driving," explained Tutangeni. 

They hope for his safe return; however, this is slowly fading as reaching Njati on his mobile phone proves futile.

"We contacted Scania for further assistance. Scania's tracking system pinpointed the truck's last location at the Sangweni truck stop in Musina, a small town near the borders of Beitbridge, bordering Mozambique and Malawi. Unfortunately, this was the last recorded location before the Scania tracking device was also likely removed.".

Both South African and Namibian police have been involved in the case since May 17.

Namibian Revolutionary Transport Union's (NARETU) secretary general, Peterson Kambinga, alerted that there's a new trend that Njati may have fallen victim to.

"There's a new trend in SA that Scania trucks are now in demand, that the hijackers now take the trucks and not only the consignments, to take them to Mozambique or Malawi so that they go and sell them. That's the unfortunate part, but we hope that he's still alive. We don't care much about the truck, but the life of the person is what we want; let him be found still alive."

Anyone with information on the missing truck driver, Njati, is urged to contact the authorities.



Johanna !Uri#khos