Gautrain guards 'acted professionally'

2012-07-20 21:00

Johannesburg - The security guards who detained two women for chewing gum at a Gautrain station acted professionally, the Bombela Concession company said on Friday.

"The company considers that its security guards acted professionally and respectfully throughout, despite being subjected to uncalled-for verbal abuse," it said in a statement.

Bombela investigated the matter after allegations that two women were detained for four hours and fined R700 for chewing gum at the Rosebank Gautrain station last Friday.

Sisters Pontso Pakkies and Lebo Sibisi told The Star newspaper they were unaware that chewing gum was not allowed on the train. While waiting for the train, Pakkies said a guard approached them and told them to get rid of their gum.

After talking to a guard, they wrapped it in paper and placed it in their bags "as there was no dustbin nearby". As the train approached, one of the security managers told them they could not board.

"He said we had refused to throw the gum away and he was going to fine us," Pakkies told The Star.

Pakkies and Sibisi said they were detained in a room that had no cellphone reception. They were refused permission to go to the toilet, or call their families. They were released after paying a R700 fine.

CCTV footage

Bombela said it viewed CCTV footage and took statements from those involved. According to its version of events one of the security guards noticed a woman chewing gum on the platform and asked her to throw it into a nearby bin.

"The lady refused to co-operate and began arguing with the guard. He called a second guard to confirm the rule and repeat the request."

Both women then became increasingly angry and refused to comply. An assistant station manager was called to explain the rules, but the women refused and became argumentative.

The women were asked to follow the manager to the station's security office where the rules were explained again. The company denied that its staff threatened the women, or became violent.

In the office, the women remained loud and would not co-operate, Bombela said. They were asked to produce identification and they refused.

When the women reportedly continued to argue, the police were called. After a long argument the pair finally agreed to identify themselves and received "an appropriate fine".

One of the ladies called her husband, who came and was briefed by security staff before leaving with the two women.

"The ladies would have been free to continue their journey at any time had they only co-operated."

Bombela denied that the two were detained for four hours, saying the entire incident lasted two hours.

  • Erna - 2012-07-20 21:19

    There are always three sides to a story - the one side, the second side and the truth.

      blou.bul.94 - 2012-07-20 21:28

      Sounds like the second side had cctv cameras to back up their side and is therefore a lot closer to the truth than the first side.

      Erna - 2012-07-20 21:37

      Tend to lean towards that myself despite comment above.

      John - 2012-07-20 22:05

      This is something the corporate thugs need to learn along with our SERVANTS the SAPS.

      John - 2012-07-20 22:09

      It is easy to SAY that one has CCTV footage! I suggest that YOU attempt to VIEW it. Then express your opinion.

      andy.dutoitsnr - 2012-07-21 07:33

      Having caught a flight from DBN to JHB, my wife and I wanted to use the Gautrain to travel to Sandton. My wife was chewing gum on the platform at the airport and was also told by security that it was not allowed. An apology from my wife followed and she disposed of her gum in a nearby dustbin. The security were polite and respectful. Thereafter we boarded the train without a problem. \r\nThe rule is there to prevent people who dispose of gum by sticking it under the train seats when they are done with it. I personally think its a good rule.

  • Raai.wie - 2012-07-20 21:35

    Now the whole world know that they are liars and terible liars as well.

  • zamani.myende - 2012-07-20 22:07


  • - 2012-07-20 22:19

    These *itches should get on a plane and try the same stunts. Rules are rules. If it was in Europe or USA, they could have served time on top of the fine! Maybe they are some sort of Soweto chewing gum Al Qaida.

  • matukanej - 2012-07-20 23:53

    Pontso Pakkies and sister just had thier few seconds of fame... Can we please view it

  • ditoare.gypsy - 2012-07-21 00:52

    My apology, I was gonna fight my a** out if someone tells me to takeout bubblegum, I never be in a place where there is a notice of NO CHEWING GUM ALLOWED, was the notice pluged clear for the ladies? Maybe they thought the officers are just fluking them.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-21 09:43

      Ditoare, You are quite right, it is just plain silly, and a time where one fights back !! Can you imagine if Alex Ferguson would have been at that station; with him chewing gum, he would probably be find R700 000 !!! - 2012-07-21 09:57

      @Ditaore. You are using the wrong organ for thinking! This world would be full of signs. Imagine: Why don't you go on a bus and start urinating when nature calls? You can quite easily also say there is no sign that say DON'T URINATE HERE!

      MallyGold - 2012-07-21 10:16

      @ditoare: You are the very sort that is preferred to be kept away from the Gautrain in the first place.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-21 10:25

      MallyGold, Sorry Madam, those times are gone !!!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-21 10:28 WOW, that is such an intelligent comment, almost as intelligent as your name. Well done !!

  • stefan.vosloo.33 - 2012-07-21 02:59

    If only all guards, especially those blue light idiots, follow the rules, don't forget our ministers..

  • kgaugelo.cassius - 2012-07-21 07:09

    Hahahahaha is dat an offence?

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2012-07-21 09:26

    Murder, rape , muggings, hi jacking, chewing gum. Crime is horrific in SA

  • Donald - 2012-07-21 19:36

    When I travel on the train I want to know there is no crime. When the authorities start with the small crimes that leaves the impression this is a crime free envelopment and the bigger crimes like muggings don't follow. So well done Bombela, keep up the good work! I feel safer!

  • antin.herink - 2012-07-22 13:19

    As said already, to refer to undisclosed CCTV footage is not enough. If they want to use existence of this CCTV footage as an argument, then they must make it freely available. Also, how much time lapsed between their initial detention and their calling in of SAPS? Being confronted with abuse is never an excuse for any (alleged) wrongful acts on one's own part -but if it's true it makes the "ladies" look like cheap bitches. So Bombela, show us the footage, and all your claims will be vindicated. Or have some residual suspicion that it's Big Money and it's spin VS two immature, naive women, who like their gum.

  • Lunga - 2012-07-22 13:53

    Joburg women lie. Fact.

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