Guards angry at EFF as city fails to renew contracts
THE fight by security guards contracted to the City of Tshwane took another turn yesterday when they marched to the EFF offices in Pretorius Street, accusing the party leaders of being sell-outs.
The stick-wielding guards embarked on the march after receiving news that their demands to be employed permanently by the City of Tshwane had been turned down.
Demonstrators were part of more than 3 000 security guards whose jobs were on the line as a result of the termination of contracts of private security companies for which they worked.
Last week, the guards submitted a memorandum of grievances to city manager Moeketsi Mosola, giving him a three-day ultimatum to address their demands and objected to the city’s move to replace them with metro police officers.
Mosola responded in writing, telling them the city was not in a position to hire them. In a letter to the guards’ representatives, Mosola informed them the services of their employers were procured in terms of the supply-chain management policy and processes of the municipality.
“Once the term of the contract or tender comes to an end, the contractor leaves with its employees and equipment,” Mosola wrote in the letter.
He added it was unfortunate that the city “cannot accommodate you in its ranks, as it will be utilising its alternative methods of providing this service”.
Earlier, the security guards embarked on a picket outside Tshwane House.
They chanted slogans denouncing the DA-led administration under mayor Solly Msimanga.
Msimanga was unavailable and MMC for Community Safety Derrick Kissoonduth came out with the intention to address them. But he soon went back without speaking to them, claiming he was not mandated to address the guards.
The guards initially refused to leave the city’s headquarters until they were addressed by Msimanga, but they subsequently left.
Their leader, Isaac Sibanda, said workers marched to the municipal offices after Mosola refused to renew the contracts of the private security companies.
On their way to the EFF offices, the guards intimidated their fellow security officers who were on duty at other municipal buildings in the city.
Outside the EFF offices, they continued to sing Struggle songs and demanded to know why the party leaders had failed to influence the municipality to not terminate their employers’ contracts.
They complained that the EFF leaders had let them down by allowing the “white DA” to decide their fate.
EFF leader in the city, Obakeng Ramabodu, refuted claims that the party had sold them out, saying the guards should not be used by opportunists wanting to hijack their genuine concerns.
“We are not going to sell you out. We know our constituency. Allow us to lead and judge us while we fail.
“You are not fighting with us. This issue has even reached the ears of the commander-in-chief (Julius Malema),” he told the guards.
‘SELL-OUTS’: Security guards contracted to Tshwane demanded their jobs back and slated the EFF for not intervening.