Stallion has murky past in soccer circles

2010-06-20 11:00

Stallion Security, which was stripped of its guarding

contract at five World Cup stadiums this week, is the same ­company that was

overwhelmed at the gates and refused to account for its role in the Ellis Park

soccer stadium disaster in which 43 people died nine years ago.

A commission of inquiry report into the 2001 disaster says Stallion Events Management, a subsidiary of the group,

was on duty at the time.

This week Stallion Security

threatened legal action after the World Cup local organising committee (LOC)

cancelled the company’s R60 million contract following a strike by its guards

over wages.

Some of the country’s most powerful businessmen are significant

shareholders in Stallion.

They include Peter Moyo, Sango Ntsaluba and Thabiso Tlelai, all

co-founders of Amabubesi, which owns a 25% stake in the security company.

Ntsaluba would not comment on the dispute and said “the problem was

regrettable and I am sure that the management of Stallion is dealing with the ­matter”.

Last year, two weeks before the start of the Confederations Cup,

which is a dress rehearsal for the World Cup, Stallion Security pulled out of the deal with the LOC

over wage issues.

The LOC is in damage control mode. It has refused to say whether it

carried out due diligence on the company.

Speaking at a media breakfast this week LOC chairperson Danny

Jordaan said: “All these issues can be addressed after the World Cup, but for

now we do have an incredible event. The police have done incredibly well.

“When you are confronted with news that there is a strike three

hours before kick-off there is absolutely no way you can sit down to a wage

negotiation. So we asked the police to take over.

City Press has learned from three sources (two in the private security industry and from a labour expert) that the agreed rates between the LOC and security firms

for the World Cup is R550 a guard for a game.

Stallion guards and stewards went on

strike after they were paid ­between R190 and R300 a game.

A security guard told City Press that Stallion had provided them with transport to all Bafana

training matches but stopped this when the World Cup began.

“We had to pay for our transport to games. Even on contracts Stallion didn’t specify pay rates and we were told to

sign forms without reading them,” he said.

Stallion has refused to comment on

the debacle beyond saying it will sue the LOC for breach of contract.

Now the police have taken over all security details in and around

the venues that Stallion was contracted to guard.

Cops on the beat will earn R700 a shift.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) has

warned that the discrepancy between what cops and private guards earn for doing

the same job will cause tensions.

Satawu national security coordinator Jackson Simon said

discrepancies in pay for the police and security guards for the same job

suggested that some people were more equal than others.

“This is clear discrimination against the security guards, who are

paid peanuts, while police are paid more,” he said.

The SA Police Union and police management have a standard agreement

in place that pays R700 in overtime payment for six-hour shifts at events.

“That is standard and regulated,” said SA Police Union general

secretary Joseph Matum this week.

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