Striking World Cup guards regret losing jobs

THE Local Organising Committee has terminated a security contract with Stallion Security at four World Cup venues awarded in February, the company confirmed last night.

"The company can confirm that the rate of remuneration paid to its security guards was determined by the LOC and was based on rates recommended in the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority tariff," the company said in a statement.

"In fact, in respect of match-day guards, Stallion successfully negotiated the LOC upwards to time-and-a-half on the PSIRA tariff.

Following an emergency meeting between police and Fifa on Wednesday, it was decided that police officers would take over security duties at Soccer City, Moses Mabhida, Green Point and Ellis Park stadiums for the rest of the World Cup.

The meeting came after security guards embarked on a strike over salaries. They claimed they had been promised R1500 a day, but were getting only R190.

On Sunday, security guards at the Moses Mabhida Stadium walked off their post just before the Australia-Germany match. Police replaced them immediately to provide security.

Yesterday, some of the sacked guards said they were shocked by the decision to fire them.

Sipho Ngcobo said: "I was told to leave the uniform. It was painful for me because I was not part of the strike," he said.

Another, Gugu Dlamini, said: "It is amazing how easy it is to lose a job. We should have continued working as negotiations were taking place."

Stallion Security chief executive Clive Zulberg said: "We deeply regret the job losses as a result of incitement by a few. We are mystified by some of the exorbitantly high rates being claimed in some quarters."

Police boss, General Bheki Cele, said: "Our priority is the safety of the tournament and the country as a whole. We will perform our responsibilities with diligence and pride."