One suspect has been arrested in Alexandra township following a riot at a construction site in Benmore, Sandton, where a security guard was stabbed and his firearm taken.
Over 100 employees at the construction site stormed the property on Wednesday morning, allegedly over non-payment.
Security officers fired rubber bullets to try to disperse the crowd. They were, however, overpowered when one of the guards was stabbed.
The wounded guard was taken to Morningside Medi-Clinic where he is receiving treatment.
“We were called out to the premises in Sandton in regards to a possible riot. The rioters started assaulting our members. One of our technical members was stabbed with a knife on the left side of his chest. During this incident a firearm was taken from the tactical member by the rioters. There was an arrest by the SAPS in Alexandra, the firearm was seized and the suspect is currently at the police station,” explains Scorpion Risk Holdings CEO, Riaan Erasmus.
— Ian Cameron (@IanCameron23) July 28, 2021
Two more people were arrested on site bringing the total number of those arrested to three.
Following the recent looting incidents in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, there were fears that the protesters could loot a nearby shopping centre. However, the protesters say they are against such acts.
“If you see us here today, it’s not because of the reflector of our Black skin or we are here to loot. We did not burn anything. We are just showing them that no one should be working until we get paid. You saw some of our guys got arrested because they say a security got stabbed, and a firearm is missing. We are not tolerating that. We just need our money,” one protester told SABC News.
The employee says they have families to feed and they need their salaries so that they can be able to commute to work, where some spend over R100 per day on transport alone.
“You can’t just stay for two months without getting paid while you are working so hard. Some of the people are from Vosloorus, some Tembisa. Just Imagine from Tembisa to here is R22 and return is almost R50. And in a forth night it’s how much? This guy is from Vereeniging and it costs over R100 a day,” adds another disgruntled worker.
Police Spokesperson Kay Makhubele says they will remain at the site.
“The police are continuing to monitor the situation in that area,” he says.
Efforts to get hold of the developer were fruitless.