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A community liaison officer involved with the upgrading of Hout Bay harbour was held hostage for two hours on Tuesday by trainees in the government’s Expanded Public Works Programme.
Luvuyo Nongabe who works for Ilizwe Civils, which does the training, was held against his will at Sijonga-Phambili Community Learning Centre in Imizamo Yethu because the trainees had not received their monthly stipends.
Trainees locked Nongabe in a classroom at noon and told him they would not free him until their stipends were paid. He then called the police, who managed to calm the situation and negotiate his release.
“They held me in one of the classrooms after I arrived to check the attendance register and they locked the door,” Nongabe said. “They told me they had not received their stipends and wanted to know why. I then called my boss. He said there were problems with bank transfers, which would be cleared today and tomorrow.”
The trainees told Nongabe they would not go anywhere until his boss arrived to explain the situation.
Nongabe then called the police.
Hout Bay police station commander Lieutenant Colonel Dorothea Xesha said a case had not been opened but the trainees had been warned not to resolve their issues by taking people hostage.