Leafy suburb of Johannesburg in South Africa, private security guard prepare a night patrol in Johannesburg
GERSENDE RAMBURG : As night falls over a leafy suburb of Johannesburg in South Africa, private security guards put on camouflage clothing and load their rifles to prepare for a night patrol.
informs the men in the gym at the company headquarters and checks the interventions of the last 12-hour shift.”No questions he asked the solemn line of guards in front of him, beret in hand. “Okay, let’s bow our heads and pray,” he said in the local Xhosa language.
After a unanimous “Amen” the men raise their arms and stand in black. and yellow painted vans with the company name “Cortac”, one of the leading private security service providers in South Africa.
“I pray every morning,” admitted Forget Ndlovu, 46, as his teammates got into their vehicles. “This job is dangerous, I never know if I can go home,” he said.But “we help others have a good life,” he added.
The job is paid much better than that of the police. The Cortac vehicles drove into the rosy evening light, drove slowly in circles, past electric gates and high, crowned walls. with barbed wire to protect the luxurious homes of the affluent suburbs of Johannesburg.
Corridors and security guards at Wendy’s narrow wooden houses built on staff lots waved as trucks passed. “The community is counting on us, not the police,” Ndlovu told AFP. – “Suspects” – South Africa has one of the largest private security companies in the world and employs more people than the police force, according to the National Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority.
Two million people in a country where unemployment exceeds 32 percent. To qualify for Cortac positions, applicants need a driver’s license, gun skills and a clean criminal record. RS and EX guard cash in transit.
At the head of each night patrol, the guards are divided into groups of two or three per vehicle.Some also carry a dog. “We only used the dog to enter a house and find a hidden suspect,” said Ryan, 25, who refused to give his full name.
Most nights are relatively quiet for private individuals. Safety equipments. There is usually a rush hour at 5:00 p.m. (1500 GMT) when residents return from work and accidentally set off an alarm, resulting in a chorus of dogs barking.
I am sorry in the criminal financial capital of South Africa, where problems have been exacerbated by the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Break-ins, robberies, and car thefts are a popular topic of conversation among wealthy locals who rarely walk into town for fear of robbery.
Neighborhood WhatsApp groups share daily news of the latest raids and seemingly seedy movements in the area.
“When people hang around, customers call our control room to say, ‘There are suspects in front of my property, can you check this out?'” Cortac’s agent Mabuya told AFP.
In their armored vehicle, Mabuya and his colleague Mpengesi, who refused to give their full name, explain that the patrol routes are being arbitrarily changed “so as not to be predictable”.
“We wait when cars drive into houses … to make sure the customer is safe,” said Mpengesi, noting that thieves sometimes use the slow-closing electric doors to knock. “When we see an open door, we go in and ask “, he added. Suddenly the conversation. Someone nearby pressed his “panic button” and immediately alerted the Cortac control center.
The driver accelerates and accelerates in the direction of the emergency call. But two blocks from their destination, a voice comes from the walkie-talkie. It is a “false alarm”.
Twenty minutes later, the crew responds to another panic call, this time in a nearby shopping mall.The driver parks a few meters in front of the entrance while Mpengesi and Mabuya run away with guns in hand.
“Ladies, let’s go back in, it’s not safe out here,” says a hairdresser and leads his customers back to the hotel. Minutes later the men return. “A mistake.
Later that night, the call center asked the team to search a parked car with a black driver at the wheel, pointed out to a concerned neighbor. One of them goes to investigate and simply finds a driver. From.” Uber wait for customers, park to save fuel, are told to leave because it makes people “nervous”.