Security company accused of not paying employees

Employees of Berita Security, based at Oshakati and Windhoek, allege they only received a portion of their November salaries in January.

Employees claim the delayed payment of salaries is an ongoing practice at the company.

Speaking to The Namibian yesterday, some employees who spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of reprisals, alleged that their salaries sometimes remain unpaid for over three months and when the company finally pays them, it’s never in full.

“We are tired of being treated like we do not work. We are hungry, we need food to eat and we have children and family members who depend on us, but we can’t provide for them when we are not paid on time,” said a guard at Eenhana.

“This company has contracts all over the country, but they don’t want to pay us for working. They never talk to us about anything and when you call the offices to enquire, no one answers the phone,” said another guard.

“The owner of the company has different phone numbers which are forever going straight to voicemail when [we] try to contact him. When you finally get hold of him, you are told that he could not pay because he was at a funeral or a wedding. I mean there’s always excuses.”

These claims were echoed by a business [owner] working with Berita.

“It’s really unbearable to see people coming to work and you can see that they are hungry. We pay our monthly fees as required to the company, but we are losing trust. How can those employees effectively carry out their duties on an empty stomach?” said one business owner who also opted for anonymity.

Contacted for comment, the owner of Berita Security, Linus Katau, refuted the guards’ claims.

“It really is not like that. Sometimes, it’s the companies who gave us contracts that don’t pay us on time and then we can’t pay the guards on time. Some of those workers are often caught sleeping on duty too,” said Katau.

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