Prasa to reinstate over 2,000 security workers after High Court ruling

Prasa said it had no choice but to terminate the security contracts because former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found they had been awarded illegally.

Prasa was forced on 19 November 2019 to close Johannesburg’s Park Station after angry fired security staff allegedly damaged property. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - About 2,400 security workers are expected back at Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) on Wednesday after the High Court in Pretoria ruled that the rail service must reinstate the services of the companies that employed them.

Prasa said it had no choice but to terminate the security contracts because former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found they had been awarded illegally.

But the High Court said the way the contracts were terminated was itself illegal.

Workers went on the rampage at Park Station, in the Johannesburg CBD on Tuesday, smashing windows and damaging property.

Prasa terminated the contracts of security companies that employed over 2,000 security workers at train stations around the country at the end of last month.

The United National Transport Union said that since then, train stations around the country had been vandalised and the safety of commuters and staff was threatened.

On Tuesday, security workers ransacked Johannesburg's Park Station, looting shops, smashing glass security gates and damaging a train.

Prasa spokesperson Nana Zenane said no one had been arrested: “In our statement, we've said these are criminal elements. The premise that we act on is that employees have a right to protest but we can’t link them to criminal activities until we have the necessary proof.”

The High Court has ruled that Prasa must reinstate the security companies and give them one month's notice if the board decided to terminate their services again.

Prasa said it respected the court’s decision but investigations into the illegal contracts continued.