South African police have fired rubber bullets and a stun grenade to disperse disgruntled workers in a stadium security row that is embarrassing World Cup organisers.
At least seven guards were arrested at an illegal protest over wages outside their employer’s offices in Cape Town.
Durban, too, has seen stewards’ protests amid anger that the poor are not benefiting from the largest sporting event on earth, staged for the first time on African soil.
“We were not trying to break anything or break any law,” said one Durban steward who has been paid off amid the dispute. “We were trying to fight for our rights to be paid according to our grades.”
Police have now taken control of stadium security at several World Cup venues. Safety is a major concern because of South Africa’s high rates of violent crime.