Security guard stabbed during protest by construction workers over unpaid salaries

Mpho Koka Journalist
Workers at a construction sight clear a barricade as private security monitors the scene, 28 July 2021, at Benmore in Sandton, Johannesburg. A group of construction workers protested this morning over a wage dispute and attacked a security guard who was moved to safety by police.
Workers at a construction sight clear a barricade as private security monitors the scene, 28 July 2021, at Benmore in Sandton, Johannesburg. A group of construction workers protested this morning over a wage dispute and attacked a security guard who was moved to safety by police.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

A security guard is fighting for his life in hospital after he was stabbed in the chest during a protest by construction workers over unpaid salaries in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Wednesday morning.

The Scorpion Holdings employee was admitted at Mediclinic Morningside following the attack. 

Scorpion CEO Riaan Erasmus said the guard was in theatre.

“We were called out to come and assist with a possible riot that might take place on the premises. We responded. As my team arrived, the protesters were on the main road and started assaulting the guards. One tactical member was stabbed with a knife on the left side of the chest.

"He has been admitted to hospital. According to the doctors, he is in theatre now and is stable at this stage. The stab wound is just under the heart,” said Erasmus.

Johannesburg Metro Police Department spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said about 500 employees were protesting over lack of payment.

“There was a protest on Benmore Road and Lower Road in Sandton by approximately 500 construction workers who allege that they haven’t been paid their salaries. The workers then attacked a security guard and he jumped inside a patrol car and drove off to get away from the violent crowd.

“Officers were sent to that location and the situation is now under control. The security guard in a blue jacket and khakhi pants has been robbed of his shotgun and cellphone and is injured. He was attended to by paramedics at the scene,” said Minnaar.

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The protesters said they won’t leave the premises until they were paid their two months wages they are owed by P&G Construction company.

One of the workers, Enoch Mnisi, 32, of Tembisa, said this is not the first time they are having a dispute over unpaid salaries with the company.

“Last year we had the same problem. We were not paid salaries and we protested. The company called the police and afterwards we were paid. We are having the same problem again. We have not been working since Monday to express our frustration,” said Mnisi.

Police and private security are at the scene monitoring the situation. 

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