‘WE WERE SITTING OUTSIDE: POLICE STARTED SHOOTING’ – SECURITY GUARDS

‘WE WERE SITTING OUTSIDE: POLICE STARTED SHOOTING’ – SECURITY GUARDS

One of three security guards who were shot by police with rubber bullets has detailed how an ordinary day turned into a nightmare on Tuesday morning.

James Mabudu‚ one of the guards working for Sidas Security Services‚ which had a contract with the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital in Vosloorus‚ alleged that police used violence against them without provocation.

“We arrived at the hospital for work this morning at 6am. We were told that our contract with the hospital has ended. When we asked how the contract was terminated without us being alerted‚ nobody could give us answers. So we remained within the hospital precinct‚ so that we could get some answers on how the contract could be terminated while some of us had still not been paid‚” Mabudu said.

Later‚ he moved outside and sat with the hawkers on the street‚ as police did not want to see anyone in the Sidas Security Services uniform within the hospital.

“The shooting happened while I was sitting outside. I was sitting there with the people selling on the streets. Police just came and started shooting us. I was not fighting with anyone. [Nor] were my colleagues‚ who were with me outside.

“All we wanted was to get paid for the work that we had done. Now they have paid [some of] us‚ and they are firing us. We want to know what we have done as workers to deserve this‚” Mabudu added.

Mabudu spoke to TimesLIVE while in the casualty ward of the hospital. He was shot with a rubber bullet in his left leg.

Two other security guards were shot‚ and three others were arrested by the police. The decision to end Sidas Security Services’ contract angered medical staff. They protested at the entrance of the hospital‚ hurling insults at the police. Nurses said there was no need to dismiss the security guards‚ who have worked at the hospital for years.

The guards went on strike a week ago‚ after they were not paid. On a daily basis‚ they reported for duty at the hospital‚ but did no work. The Trade Union of Security Industry in South Africa (Tusisa) said that some of the guards were paid‚ but then hospital management announced that the contract with the security company had ended.

Another security company is believed to have been appointed‚ but the no guards from a new company are at the hospital. Currently‚ police are guarding the hospital‚ and medical staff are complaining that the environment is not a safe one in which to work.

Police officers guard the entrance only; they are not processing each individual coming into the hospital‚ nor are they guarding individual wards that require security.

PENWELL DLAMINI -TimesLIVE

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Nigerians in South Africa
Nigerians in South Africa 1545 posts

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