File picture: William Hook/

Durban - Police are investigating the death of a security guard at a wholesale distribution company in Phoenix.

Stanley Govender, 41, of Fernham, Phoenix, was found dead at Tradeport Distribution on Friday night. He was shot in the stomach while in the company of a group of colleagues, all security guards.

Govender had worked for the company, based at the Phoenix Industrial Park, for 22 years.

According to a police source, it is alleged that Govender and five men had gathered at a newly constructed part of the building for a few drinks after work.

The source said the men were supposed to travel home together in a company vehicle.

Three of the men had gone to the vehicle and were waiting for their colleagues to join them when the incident occurred.

“The three men who waited in the Toyota Condor heard a gunshot go off after about five minutes. When they arrived at the scene, they saw Govender lying dead on the floor. The other two men were with him. The paramedics arrived soon after, but he was dead by that time,” said the source.

“The deceased had an entry and exit wound to the abdomen and a firearm belonging to one of the group members was seized and will be sent for ballistics.”

It is believed Govender was playing with the gun before it went off.

“Investigations are continuing. All five men at the scene are being questioned,” said the source.

Shanil Roy, 51, a friend and colleague, said Govender had been living with his family for the past eight years, after becoming estranged from his family.

He said Govender had not returned from work at his normal time on Friday and he later received a phone call about the shooting.

“I rushed over to the company premises where I saw him lying dead,” said Roy.

He first met Govender when he started working for the company as a driver. Govender was assigned as his assistant and they became close friends.

“He was like a brother to me. I felt sorry for Stanley when I found out he was living in a Wendy house on the company premises. His parents were late and he became estranged from his family. In the eight years he lived with us we had no issues with him,” said Roy.

He said Govender had worked for the company for about 22 years and at the time of his death he was part of the security team at Tradeport’s premises.

Roy said Govender was known as “Mandela” by neighbours and friends because he had a knack for mimicking the late icon.

Faizel Bassa, manager of Tradeport Distribution, said the company would hold a disciplinary hearing.

“The members of staff were off-duty at the time of the incident and had finished their shift for the week. They were only due back to work later this week. Once they present themselves, we will conduct a private disciplinary hearing,” he said.

Police spokesman, Colonel Jay Naicker, confirmed that Phoenix SAPS had opened an inquest docket.

Daily News