National News

Stadium workers riot over pay

2010-06-14 07:11

Durban - Armed riot police charged into hundreds of security stewards at a World Cup stadium hours after Sunday's match to break up a protest about low wages.

Police appeared to set off two percussive grenades, causing loud bangs, to drive the workers out of a parking lot under Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban hours after Germany beat Australia 4-0 in Group D.

Associated Press reporters saw about 30 riot police charge into the crowd to drive it out of the stadium. While calm quickly returned to the stadium, some of the security stewards, wearing orange and green jackets, continued milling around outside.

An AP photographer said police fired tear gas at protesters outside the stadium. A nearby street was littered with trash where the protesters were forced away. Concrete blocks had been pushed into a street.

About 100 police later surrounded a group of about 300 protesters on a street near the stadium and separated the men from the women. An AP photographer said he heard police tell the protesters they would be arrested for causing a public disturbance.

Left peacefully


The protesters later left peacefully after calm discussions with police. There were no injuries or arrests reported.

Repeated calls to police in Durban seeking comment were not returned.

A FIFA spokesperson declined to comment immediately and the local organising committee for the World Cup did not immediately respond to telephone calls and e-mails seeking comment. The police command set up in Johannesburg for World Cup-related matters was aware of the protest but had not received an official report from Durban.

Police were called to the scene after hundreds of angry stewards gathered to complain about their wages.

"We left our homes at seven in the morning and now it is nearly one o'clock," said Vincent Mkize. "In the dry run, they didn't want to tell us how much we would get."

Another of the stewards, Fanak Falakhebuengu, told the AP he had heard they would be paid R1 500 ($195) a day but were only getting R190 ($25).

"They were supposed to give us R1 500, that's what FIFA told us and they gave us R190. We are working from 12 o'clock until now," said another man who asked not to be named. He ran from police before he could give his name.

Many of the protesters were waving small brown envelopes that had held their pay. One handed to a reporter had the figure R190 written on it under "amount payable."

Others said they had been abandoned at the stadium after the match and would have to walk about four hours to get home. They said no transport was provided for them.

- Were you there? Send us your photos

Read more on:    fifa  |  durban

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
104 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Updated: Hottest SWC WAGs

Updated: Hottest SWC 2010 WAGs

Vote

World Cup 2010 is over and the country is returning to normal - but have you moved on yet?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.