Disgruntled Durban World Cup guards paid off

DURBAN Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:45pm IST

Workers who were deployed as stewards at last Sunday's game between Germany and Australia wait to receive their payment outside the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban June 15, 2010. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

Workers who were deployed as stewards at last Sunday's game between Germany and Australia wait to receive their payment outside the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban June 15, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Michael Buholzer

DURBAN (Reuters) - About two thousand disgruntled security guards, watched closely by riot police, handed in their uniforms and received their pay outside Moses Mabhida stadium on Tuesday, two days after violent scenes at the World Cup venue.

Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of protesting guards, unhappy at the level of pay they were being given, after Germany's victory over Australia on Sunday.

On Tuesday, security staff were marshalled by riot police as they queued up to hand in their World Cup accreditations and orange jackets to Stallion Security officials, receiving small brown envelopes containing a day's pay in return.

One man waved the envelope with 205 rand ($27.68) he had received from the Stallion Security Consortium officials at a blue pick-up and shouted "peanuts, peanuts, peanuts".

"They just told us that our jobs have been taken by the police," said a female security guard, Zanele Mcineka.

"We signed a contract for three months. I want to get a straight answer about whether our jobs are still here."

Organisers said on Monday that police would handle security at the Cape Town and Durban World Cup venues until further notice after a strike by other guards employed by Stallion.

Some former stewards who turned up without the correct papers were turned away by riot police, who had water cannon on standby.

"We're not fighting with the police, we're fighting for our rights," said Thamsanqa Mapumulo as he was ushered away.

Spain face Switzerland in the second World Cup match at the 62,760-seater Moses Mabhida stadium on Wednesday.

(Writing by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Ken Ferris)

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