JUBA – The deputy mayor of South Sudan’s capital Juba Thiik Thiik Mayardit has reportedly been suspended and is being investigated over a dispute with a local security firm after he was accused of interference in the firm’s management system leading to strike by employees, two sources with direct contact with Thiik told Sudans Post this afternoon.
This comes more than three weeks after the Juba-based Veterans Security Services Ltd. (VSS) said in a letter addressed to the Minister of Labor and Public Service James Hoth Mai that two of the company’s managers had to be hospitalized on June 1 after they were ‘badly beaten’ by disgruntled employees in a strike the company said was incited by Thiik.
“It is with great respect and the utmost concern that we, the Board of Directors of Veterans Security Services Ltd (VSS), are compelled to write regarding unwarranted and inappropriate interference and harassment in the management of this company by the Honourable Deputy Mayor of Juba, Thiik Mayardit,” part of the company’s letter authored by its board of directors to the minister reads at the time.
“His involvement has resulted this morning in an illegal and very damaging strike, two of the expatriate managers being hospitalized after being badly beaten, and the VSS headquarters suffering considerable damage after rioting employees broke into the compound and smashed windows, doors, vehicles, computers and furniture,” it added.
In a letter dismissing the allegations, Thiik Thiik said he didn’t do anything wrong and said what led to the strike by employees against the security company was the security firm’s “failure to cater for its workers welfare, something all South Sudanese should be concern about.”
Speaking to Sudans Post this morning, a senior Central Equatoria state government official at the Juba City Council said Thiik was suspended in early June on orders of the minister of labour and public service James Hoth Mai and said an investigation into whether his actions caused the strike was being carried out.
“He was suspended in the first days of June and is being investigated,” the official who requested not to be named said. “So, if there is to be connection between his action and the wounding of foreigners in the company and the strike, then the law will take its course.”
Any official at the ministry of labour described the beating of foreigners as “a shameful acts that senior government officials should not incite” and confirmed that the senior Juba city Council official is “being investigated for his actions.”