Police yesterday arrested two security guards and seized 200 guns from a security company that received a multi-million rand contract from the eThekwini municipality last year.
The Mercury understands that the guards, who were arrested for illegally being in possession of firearms, work for Isidingo Security Services. The company provides security for several municipal departments, including the water and sanitation department, the Pinetown council offices and the electricity department.
Police Colonel Jay Naicker said the guards had been transporting the guns in Pinetown when they were stopped by police.
He said the guards were not in possession of permits to transport the guns. Police seized 54 guns found in the vehicle and a further 146 from the company’s offices in the Durban CBD.
“Further charges will be added in terms of the Firearms Control Act for failing to transport firearms in the prescribed manner, failing to produce permits for the firearms, as well as not having the necessary permits to transport the firearms,” he said.
Naicker said the operation was carried out by local police, the crime intelligence and crime combating units and the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA).
PSIRA spokeswoman Siziwe Zuma said that 109 of the seized firearms were found to be illegal.
“We have been investigating several companies after complaints were received that the control of firearms among private security companies was lax. We have found a lot of irregularities in the company which contravene private security legislation,” she said.
Isidingo Security’s operations director, Jabu Ndlovu, would only say that he was aware that two of his guards had been arrested.
According to a Sunday Tribune article in March, several security companies which had tendered for a municipal security contract worth R200-million had opposed the city’s decision to award most of the tender to Bhejane Security and Isidingo Security. The companies were owned by husband and wife team Anu Padayachee and Nishi Singh, the paper reported.
In 2008, The Mercury reported that Isidingo Security was found by the Labour Department to be among companies that had deliberately flouted employment legislation.
The department said at the time that Isidingo Security owed its employees more than R409 000. - The Mercury