Cause for concern

The alleged torture of five security guards accused of stealing more than R10million from their company in the East Rand is cause for great concern.

The alleged torture of five security guards accused of stealing more than R10million from their company in the East Rand is cause for great concern.

Their colleagues claim they went missing last week after they were taken away in a bakkie by an official to a building where they were tortured.

Although the company claims they were handed over to the police, relatives have been unable to trace their whereabouts, raising fears that something nasty could have happened to them.

Two of the five men were released from the building on Wednesday and claimed they were severely tortured by unidentified men.

Without casting any aspersions, these employees should have been immediately handed over to the police, charged and made to appear in a court of law at least 48 hours after their arrest.

Failure to do so is a violation of their constitutional right to defend themselves. What is also worrying are remarks attributed to a company official alleging that some of the guards had admitted their guilt.

Where and how the confessions were made is an issue that could be argued in court. Relatives of the missing guards will only feel relieved if and when they appear in court - unharmed.

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