Workers face tear gas and rubber bullets in Durban after protesting over pay

It is a shame that matters should turn so ugly during FIFA2010

One woman was hit by a rubber bullet. She lay outside the stadium for nearly an hour before an ambulance took her away.

“We were mounting a peaceful protest because they were not paying us what we expected and we were surprised that the police started charging at us. They fired teargas at us,” said one of the workers, Sydney Nzoli.

Riot police sporting body armor, helmets and guns chased stewards who had earlier been responsible for the security of 62,660 fans from the new Moses Mabhida stadium.

Police blasted teargas as the disgruntled staff, bricks and rocks in hand, rampaged down a Durban highway. Scores of police corralled the protesters before they reached the city center. After a tense standoff, the workers dispersed.

“We were mounting a peaceful protest because they were not paying us what we expected and we were surprised that the police started charging at us. They fired teargas at us,” said one of the workers, Sydney Nzoli.

The around 500 workers later dispersed after police gave them a 10-minute deadline and said their grievances had to be discussed with their employers.

A police spokesman said the disturbance started after workers were paid less than they expected for their work during the match.

One worker said they were paid 190 rand ($24.50) for the day’s work, instead of the 425 rand they were supposed to have been paid in terms of their contract.

Anna Monteiro, Special Correspondent in South Africa for Jornal de Sábado, EXCLUSIVELY for FIFA2010

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Sobre jornaldesabado

Ana Monteiro Correspondente na África do Sul http://jornaldesabado.com.br
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