Strike: 57 Guards Killed In South Africa

News24.com, June 19, 2006

Johannesburg—Fifty-seven security guards have died since a strike in the industry began in March, the chairperson of a provident fund for the guards confirmed on Monday.

Kevin Derrick, acting chairman of the Private Security Industry Provident Fund, confirmed a report in Beeld newspaper, saying this was based on a study of newspaper reports since the strike began on March 23.

Derrick told Sapa that in anticipation of claims to the fund, which provides death benefits to the families of guards, Derrick set about monitoring media reports on the strike.

He took cuttings from the Star, the Sun, the Citizen, the Mercury and the Daily News, the Pretoria News, Beeld, the Sunday Tribune, the Cape Times and the Argus.

He verified and cross-referenced the information contained in the articles, noting injuries, damages and deaths and also telephoned security companies to confirm information.

92% are not on strike

Derrick said that by law employers must contribute to the fund, which has 195 000 members out of 236 000 guards registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority. Some smaller companies have exemptions but the dependants of a deceased guard are still entitled to make a claim, even if his employer did not contribute to the fund.

Derrick said he would continue to verify the information and would do further checks with the fund to come to a final figure.

The information would also be shared with the SA Police Service.

He added that the security industry was also considering whether to establish another separate fund to help the guards’ next of kin.

“It’s basically part of our social responsibility. They have been murdered because they wanted to come to work. They were murdered in support of customers they care about and provided a service to.”

He said that about 92% of the guards were not on strike.

The guards who have died have been thrown from trains, shot, or been subjected to severe physical attacks.

The Democratic Alliance said it has submitted a private member’s bill to parliament, aimed at holding trade unions civilly liable for damage or loss suffered as a direct result of union members’ strike-related activities.

Representatives of striking security guards and their employers were expected to return to the negotiating table on Monday in the latest attempt at resolving the prolonged pay dispute.

“Everybody is hopeful that it is coming to an end. (It) is not as hostile as it was in the beginning,” said SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) spokesperson Ronnie Mamba.

Satawu and the Transport and Allied Workers Union of SA set an 11% increase as their goal this year against the 8.3% average guards from other unions agreed on, and have been on strike since March 23.


Johannesburg—The body of another murdered security guard was found hanging from a tree at Springs on Monday, said Gauteng police.

Superintendent Andy Pieke said: “He was found hanging from a tree and had a wound, possibly caused by a sharp object, to his head. His legs had been tied.”.

The 31-year-old man, whose name was not released, worked night shift at Grootvlei Mine in Payneville.

When he did not return home as usual, a colleague walked the route the man normally would have taken after his shift, and found the body.

On Sunday, commuters forced two security guards off a train in Acaciaboom, Pretoria, after the pair allegedly robbed them.

Inspector Paul Ramaloko of Pretoria police said the two had allegedly assaulted people on the train and held people at gunpoint to rob them.

58th death in strike, says source

Commuters overpowered them and they jumped off the moving train to escape, said Ramaloko.

They were found by police and allegedly had two firearms and a number of cellphones.

They face armed robbery charges initially. It is not known if they are on strike or are working guards.

According to one source, the death of the Springs guard would be the 58th since the strike started on March 23.

Kevin Derrick, acting chairman of the Private Security Industry Provident Fund, said that in anticipation of claims to the fund, which provides death benefits to the families of guards, he had set about monitoring media reports on the strike.

He verified and cross-referenced the information contained in the articles, noting injuries, damages and deaths and also phoned security companies to confirm information.

Dependents entitled to claim

Derrick said employers had to contribute to the fund, which had 195 000 members out of 236 000 guards registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority.

Some smaller companies had exemptions but dependants were entitled to make a claim, even if a guard’s employer did not contribute to the fund.

He would continue to verify the information and would do further checks with the fund to come to a final figure.

The information would also be shared with the police.

He added that the security industry was also considering whether to establish another separate fund to help the guards’ next of kin.

“It’s basically part of our social responsibility. They have been murdered because they wanted to come to work.”

He said that about 92% of the guards were not on strike.

Meanwhile, representatives of striking security guards and industry employers were meeting at the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) on Monday afternoon in the latest efforts to end the pay dispute.

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.

Comments are closed.