Hospital security staff ‘in limbo’

Published Jun 13, 2024


Durban — About 175 security guards who worked for a private security company in Chatsworth’s RK Khan Hospital are now unemployed.

Since June 1, the guards who were contracted with Calvin and Family company were relieved of their duties.

They have been waiting outside the hospital for any communication from their employer.

Former head of security, Martin Motete, claimed that there was no formal dismissal procedure or prior warning. He claimed the company hired a new group of guards.

“We have passed the tests that they gave us when they got the contract. We had been to work on time for almost two weeks before they fired us.

“But no one is telling us when they will pay us and if they will give us our provident funds. We sing gospel songs and have no intention to harm anyone,” Motete said.

Former supervisor, Pretros Luthuli, said he wants answers on what made the company terminate their contract without a warning.

“They gave us letters that our contracts were terminated but the reason was not specified.

Calvin company only spoke with the department, we were only told not to come back to work on June 2.

“The people who went for tests were not given their results either.”

One of the unemployed guards, Siyabonga Gumede, said the law should take its course.

“We have families to feed, if we have any law in the country then there should be justice for us. We were fired without notice. On the evening of June 1, we saw new employees clocking in and that is very unfair,” he said.

The director of the company, Calvin Mathibeli, addressed the allegations by the former contract employees regarding their dismissal and subsequent events.

Mathibeli said the guards were initially hired on a six-month contract, which concluded in January 2024.

Following the end of this contract, they continued on a month-to-month basis. Mathibeli said they communicated these terms clearly and the employees acknowledged the arrangement.

“On May 2, we received formal notification from our client that our contract would end on May 31.

“We promptly informed our employees of this development. On May 26, we were notified Calvin and Family Security had been appointed to a contract to provide security services for the same institution.

“In response, we began a recruitment process to fill the necessary positions, advertising the openings and inviting all interested employees to participate,” Mathibeli said.

“Unfortunately, during this process, some employees chose not to engage. Those who did were given the opportunity to undergo standard recruitment and screening procedures.

“Regrettably, I received threatening calls demanding that all former employees be rehired without following these procedures. The caller insisted on rehiring all staff regardless of the new contract terms and reduced scope of work, threatening my life if these demands were not met.

“I received further threats from individuals identifying themselves as leaders of a political party, including disturbing voice notes and derogatory language calling me ‘ikwerekwere’ (a foreigner) that deserves to be killed.”

Mathibeli said he condemns these actions in the strongest possible terms.

He said the safety and security of his employees and clients are of utmost importance. The company was working closely with authorities to ensure appropriate measures were taken.

“Our hiring process is designed to be fair and thorough, ensuring that all candidates are evaluated based on their qualifications and the needs of the new contract.”

Department of Health Department spokesperson Sibongiseni Mkhize directed media queries to the security company.

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