Cape Town - A private security company hired to protect farms during a violent strike in the Boland has denied allegations that its employees assaulted a regional ANC chairman.
Pat Marran, the ANC chairman in the Boland who was at the forefront of of the recent farmworkers’ strike, says he was shot in the face by a TSU security guard in De Doorns before two other guards joined in the assault on him on January 10.
He filed a criminal complaint against the company, which specialises in riot control, armed escorts and tactical response.
The company was hired by farmers to protect property and vineyards after damage had been caused by striking farmworkers.
TSU chief executive Chris Beukes said Marran had been shot with a non-lethal weapon that dispensed pepper spray “because he was pushing our guy around”.
Afterwards the security guards got into their vehicle and drove off.
“My guys didn’t touch him,” Beukes said.
“Once the pepper spray is in your eyes they don’t do anything. They didn’t jump (Marran) or anything.”
Marran said the incident occurred when he was walking with a friend outside the suburb of Sunnyside Orchard to investigate allegations that workers were being shot at by security guards.
They were confronted by three security guards and he got into an argument with one of them, he said.
Standing two metres from him, one guard opened fire before the others joined in kicking him while he was on the ground, Marran said.
Police were investigating a case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, said spokesman Frederick van Wyk. He said Marran had been shot with a Jet protector JPX pepper spray.
Van Wyk said the company was inspected twice on instruction of a senior state prosecutor and was found to be compliant with the Security and Firearms Control Act.