On 12 October 2013 an unarmed female employee and her spouse were brutally attacked with a baton while caged in, in their vehicle by a security guard from G4S security. The victim is also employed at G4S security. Her colleague attacked her at the entrance to their head office at Bylsbridge in Centurion, Pretoria.
The victim was taken to the Health and safety dept. at G4s for medical treatment but was not treated or taken to a doctor for treatment at all, one of her co-worker offered her a glass of water.
The assault resulted from the poor and aggressive behaviour from the security guard. He swore at the couple. They wanted him to identify himself in order to report his behaviour to his superiors. The guard then turned to the female, brutally assaulting her. The husband moved between her and the guard, trying to block the blows from the baton on his wife. He was also severely beaten with the baton and his vehicle was badly damaged. A passer-by stopped and removed the guard.
The couple left the scene to take the badly injured and female to the health and safety dept. of G4S security. She was having an asthma attack and was having trouble breathing. The repeated inhaler application did not make any difference to her state but the Health and safety dept. ignored her plea and failed to treat her.
They called the police. Before the arrival of the police, the management of G4S security arrived at the scene. They told the security guards at the gate to state that the husband pointed him with a firearm. On arrival of the police, the husband was arrested. He was badly injured during the brutal attack and suffered head injuries caused by the Tomfa baton but was denied medical aid or to see a doctor by the Lyttleton Police.
The husband was released on R2000 bail at 23H00 that evening and was then taken to see a doctor.
2 cases of assault was opened at the Lyttleton police station against the guard but the prosecutor at the Lyttleton Court refused to proceed with action against the security guard. The husband is still to appear in Court on charges of pointing a firearm.
The employee registered a grievance against the guard but nothing came of it. The guard is still working and was not charged or suspended. He is still terrorizing the couple. He is still a liability for G4S but apparently their public influence is strong enough to absorb such liabilities.
The couple suffered severe losses. They are responsible for their legal costs, the damage to the vehicle amounts to R20000. They are suffering anxiety attacks and “everyday is hell when I have to enter those gates- I don’t sleep at night, we don’t even want to stop at traffic lights or stop streets anymore, we are afraid we will get attacked again” the woman said. “We know that nothing will happen if we are attacked again- just like nothing happened now and the perpetrator will again walk free” she anxiously said. She was clearly suffering from a deep routed fear!
This couple was unarmed – on their way to honestly earn a day’s wages like any other day when this incident occurred. They were trapped inside their vehicle- like a canned lion; they had no means of escaping the attack. They were supposed to be protected by the security guard- not brutally assaulted.
This is the same security company that was alleged to use brutal force at the Mangaung correctional facility some weeks ago and the same company that allegedly locked inmates in “black hole” for extensive periods.
The Mangaung episode was swept under the carpet and they were ordered not to talk to any journalists about the matter. The “black hole” episode followed the same route.
Mr Andy Baker, regional president for G4S Africa stated on 28 October 2013 on comment about the Mangaung episode “G4S has a zero-tolerance policy for the use of undue or excessive force” he further stated in the same comment -“It is unfortunate that the media is pursuing a story based on unsubstantiated allegations from anonymous sources, disgruntled former employees and convicted criminals.” The writer hereof is neither a former employee nor a convicted criminal but an observing citizen, caring for the welfare of others and hoping that justice can prevail – so Mr Baker you are wrong again!
Does G4s see “disgruntled former employees” also as convicted criminals or were they treated in this fashion -or did they fall pray to the same treatment as the assaulted couple?
It appears that the use of force by the guards of G4S security is general practise and they know nothing will happen to them- they have the support from their Employer!
G4s stated in a news release on 28 August 2013 “G4S is certified as a Top Employer Africa 2014. The only security company to achieve this accolade, based on independent research by the Top Employers Institute, G4S offers its people an engaging, safe working environment where their contribution is valued.”
This statement can not be accepted as the truth in the light of the above incident.
Will this matter also follow the Mangaung and “black hole” route? - Are G4s security befriended with the government- first it was the Dept. of Correctional services, then police and seems like the courts as well? Maybe they are just above the law or even the modern cowboys, or maybe their friendly visit to Mr Zuma last week had something to do with their favouritism? Will we ever know?
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