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Hostage situation at Gauteng government offices comes to an end

18 January 2018 - 15:02 By Penwell Dlamini
VPS staff protesting inside the Gauteng human settlement offices in the Johannesburg city centre on Thursday morning.
VPS staff protesting inside the Gauteng human settlement offices in the Johannesburg city centre on Thursday morning.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

After being held hostage for about three hours by security guards‚ staff at the Gauteng human settlement department offices in downtown Johannesburg were allowed to leave. Angry security guards from security firm VPS had prevented anyone entering or leaving the office over an apparent pay dispute.

The staff were released after VPS representatives agreed to continue with talks in the department's offices‚ on Pixley ka Isaka Seme (formerly Sauer) Street in the city centre.

"It started about 9am‚ but most of us did not take it seriously until we realised that we really can't get out of the building‚" said one department staffer as he walked outside just before 1pm.

While the hostage situation ended‚ police continued to monitor the situation as VPS workers were still stationed near the building.

VPS workers say their company is owed millions of Rands by the human settlement settlement department - a situation they claim has led to their employer failing to pay their salaries.

VPS management was on Thursday locked in meetings with department officials to sort out the problem.


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