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Court rules that Phoenix security company have their firearms returned following unrest

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Published Nov 12, 2021

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Durban: The firearms that belonging to KZN VIP Security that were seized by police after the unrest in July have been returned, after a ruling by Durban High Court.

In August, the POST reported that the police and the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (Psira) launched an investigation, into KZN VIP Security and three other security companies for their alleged role in the violence in Phoenix.

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It was alleged that the companies were lending out firearms to civilians during the unrest.

At the time, Bheki Cele, the minister of police, said a team of investigators had seized 152 firearms from the security companies.

He said the seizure of firearms was within the ambit of the law. The firearms were sent for ballistic analysis.

Glen Naidoo, who has since resigned as the head of the company, said police seized 42 firearms from KZN VIP Security.

"We approached the Durban High Court in October to have the State disclose why it was keeping the 42 firearms and to have the firearms returned to us. When the matter was heard in court, the police agreed to, and returned 40 firearms."

Naidoo said on Friday, his attorney Anand Nepaul went back to court to ask for the remainder of the firearms to be returned, and the court ruled in their favour.

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"The Minister of Police went on national television with serious, damning and defamatory allegations against several security companies in Phoenix.

We were treated like criminals and our creditability was compromised. KZN VIP Security suffered financially because we lost clients. We did not have guns to provide some of our services," said Naidoo.

He said the company had always been in the frontline assisting the police in Phoenix and Durban North.

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"I trusted and stood by my staff because they have been trained. The ballistics tests have shown that our guns were not involved in any of the crimes committed.

“ I am a highly-skilled former policeman and when it comes to incidents of strikes and riots, our team is trained only to use rubber bullets and not live rounds. The only time live rounds are acceptable is if their lives are in imminent danger."

Lirandzu Themba, the spokesperson for the Police Ministry, said they could not comment on an ongoing court case or police investigations pertaining to KZN VIP Security and the other security companies.

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