Investec gets go-ahead to pay R2m for bodyguards, security of execs

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Investec Group CEO Fani Titi.
Investec Group CEO Fani Titi.

Investec, a bank that focuses on high-net-worth individuals in South Africa, will spend as much as £100,000 (R2 million) a year on each of its executive directors’ personal security as crime in the country surges.

A resolution on the cover was approved by shareholders at the lender’s annual general meeting Thursday. The directors previously paid for security from their salaries, according to the bank. 

“The personal security arrangements are something which we feel we need to put in place for the executives based in South Africa,” Henrietta Baldock, chairwoman of the bank’s remuneration committee, said at the AGM. The measure was introduced “given that they are high profile, and given the number of other examples that are around of high-profile business people and other people being targeted.” 

READ | Pushback against Investec's plan to pay for execs' bodyguards

South African crime data published by the government shows that kidnappings more than doubled in the three months through March to 3 306 incidents, while the number of sexual offenses increased by 14% to 13 799. The rape of eight women last week in an area outside Johannesburg triggered protests in parts of the country, which also suffers from illegal mining and theft of critical equipment that cripple infrastructure including power supply and rail lines. 

Hijacking increased by 20%, while murders rose by 22% in the three months to March.

Each of South Africa’s nine provinces has seen an increase in kidnappings. Gauteng has seen more than 1 500 cases of abduction in the first quarter of the year. That’s almost three times the number of incidents in the same time last year.

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