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The popular shack-land Mandela Mall of Bela-Bela township received a most unwelcome “visitor”, when a runaway truck smashed into the corrugated iron-built structure, leaving a trail of destruction.
A suspect is facing a charge of reckless and negligent driving following the accident on Saturday, 8 July.
The driver – who apparently panicked and fled the scene – reportedly lost control and drove into the tuck-shop at the Tlhalampsa Informal Settlement next to Extension 5.
The tuck-shop is popularly known as The Mandela Mall, a name inspired by its massive shack structure.
According to eyewitnesses, the truck was speeding on the thoroughfare between Extension 8 and Tlhalampsa in the early hours of Saturday morning, when it smashed head-on into the tuck-shop.
Lieutenant-Colonel Abel Phetla of the Bela-Bela police confirmed the accident, and said no one was in the shop at the time and therefore no casualties.
He said the driver had later cooperated with investigators, by giving a statement on his version of circumstances leading to the crash.
Phetla said the police were not immediately able to say as to the exact extent of the damage to the property and items on the shelves.
He added the driver was allowed to remove the truck from the scene, and that his identity could not be disclosed as the matter was still sub judice.
Eyewitnesses told The BEAT they were woken up by the loud bang of the crash.
Some believed the driver fled the scene out of sheer panic.
It was business as usual at the shop early in the week, with customers going about their shopping, despite damage to a part of the tuck-shop.
6 months ago 13 July 2017