WATCH | Labour dispute leads to stand-off between private security and workers in Sandton

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  • A labour dispute led to a protest in Sandton on Wednesday.
  • Workers went on strike at a premises in Benmore, allegedly because of unpaid wages.
  • A private security officer is in hospital after an alleged assault during the protest.

A labour dispute, allegedly due to unpaid wages, led to a stand-off between private security and construction workers in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Wednesday.

A private security company, Scorpion Risk Holdings, said it was called out to the Sandton premises due to a labour dispute between workers and a contractor.

"As we arrived, the rioters basically attacked us and assaulted our members. One of our members was stabbed with a knife on the right side of the chest, and he was rushed to Morningside Clinic. He is stable," CEO Riaan Erasmus told News24 at the scene.

 Labour dispute leads to stand-off between private
Labour dispute leads to stand-off between private security and workers in Sandton.

He said the protesting workers allegedly took a firearm, loaded with rubber bullets, but it was later retrieved by law enforcement.

READ | Southern African supply chains in jeopardy due to South African unrest

One of the workers on the scene told News24 they were protesting because they had not been paid for two months.

"Today we are here to strike to get our money... we are using transport, we are paying rent where we are staying.

"They are promising us that we are going to get paid today, but we are just waiting," Enoch Mnisi said.

 Labour dispute leads to stand-off between private
Labour dispute leads to stand-off between private security and workers in Sandton.

Mnisi said the workers were not looting, but striking for their pay.

He said there had been an altercation between the private security and the workers.

"[They] started shooting at us, but we told them we need our money - they do not know what we have been through," he said.

 Labour dispute leads to stand-off between private
Labour dispute leads to stand-off between private security and workers in Sandton

The management, said to be inside the premises negotiating a resolution, did not speak to the media.

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department's spokesperson, Wayne Minnaar, confirmed the protest in Benmore.

"There [was] a protest in Benmore Road, in Sandton, where construction workers have been protesting because of allegations of no payment of salaries. There was an assault on one of the security guards, who was injured and taken to Morningside Clinic," he said.

Currently, the situation is calm and officers are said to be monitoring the area.

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