Durban – Reaction Unit South Africa has been fined millions after the KZN private security company pleaded guilty to charges of improper conduct.
In a statement, Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSira) confirmed that RUSA had conceded to the charges related to improper conduct and therefore a fine of R20 million was imposed.
On June 11 RUSA services were suspended following the allegations of misconduct.
PSira spokesperson Siziwe Zuma said R17 million of the fine was suspended on condition that RUSA is not found guilty of similar contraventions within a year from now.
They added that RUSA would be back in business from Friday after they pay an amount of R500 000.
"The remainder of R2.4 million is payable within 24 months," said Zuma.
Zuma said failure to comply could result in imprisonment for a period not exceeding 24 months.
Another serious condition meted out to RUSA by the Authority is that it has been instructed to publicly apologise to all the victims and the Nation for the atrocities it has caused and moreover, for violating the industry’s Code of Conduct.
PSiRA CEO, Manabela Chauke said “We did not anticipate a protracted process in this case, but we are satisfied that our own regulations were put to a test through the courts and were found to be rock solid. This case should unequivocally send a very strong message to all and sundry that where there is impropriety, the Regulator will without fail, invoke its statutory mandate to exercise effective control over the practice of the occupation of security service provider in the public and national interest and the interest of the private security industry itself."
The Regulator said it would keep a strong eye on the company and ensure that it complies from now onwards.
In a statement RUSA boss Prem Balram said: "We want to place on record our apologies to any member of the community whose rights have been violated on any occasion in our zeal to fight crime. This is regretted. We have subsequently adopted a zero tolerance approach to such violations of the Code of Conduct by any member of the staff."
He added: "We regret any violations of this Code of Conduct in the past and will strive to adhere strictly to same. We further wish to make public that every member of RUSA that violates the code of conduct will be subject to strict disciplinary measures up to and including being suspended where necessary.
Balram said that his company was deeply rooted in the community and is committed to ensuring the safety of all South Africans that they serve.
"In the execution of our duties our members are subjected to life threatening experiences daily. We acknowledge that some of the crimes that we deal with are heinous and certain crimes scenes have taken a toll on them.
We have recognized that in order for them to fulfil our mandate and conform to the regulatory authorities expectations we may need to be workshopped on the act from time to time. In this regard we are grateful to PSIRA for their willingness to provide such training and we look forward to working closely with them in future. We feel that such training can only benefit us, develop us and assist us to be the best we can be."