Popular Verulam-based private security company Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) has scored a significant victory in the Durban High Court against the Private Security Industry Regulator (Psira).

The court ruled in favour of Rusa after the industry regulator suspended the company founded more than 20 years ago by Prem Balram and his brother Vinod. The court ruled that Psira should re-instate the company’s registration and that they could operate as normal. Balram filed the urgent application
after Psira suspended it on 11 June.

News of Rusa’s suspension spread like wildfire on social media with scores of supporters denouncing the Psira suspension. The regulator accused Rusa on “misconduct” that took place in Verulam last year. Balram said that he was “very happy” with the court ruling while he apologised to clients and the public for any inconvenience.

According to Balram, the suspension emerged because a case of assault was opened by a man that was arrested for allegedly raping his 10-year-old step-daughter in Verulam, north of Durban in June last year. He believes that Psira acted unlawfully and in a “corrupt manner for financial gain”.

He said that his legal team were preparing documents to serve on Psira for reputational damages. “We have initiated investigation into corrupt activities at Psira Durban office and we are convinced that the officials will be rooted out. We are grateful that the court proved us right,” said Balram.

While the matter has been postponed to 24 June, according to Psira, they requested that the court stands the matter down, to give it an opportunity to file its replication and defend its case. “The merits of the case were not argued,” they said.

“The matter was postponed for 24 June in order to give Psira an opportunity to file its pleadings and defend its case. The court ordered that Rusa may operate temporally until the court makes the decision on 24 June,” said Psira spokesperson, Siziwe Zuma.

She said the court ordered Rusa to lodge an appeal by Friday. Said Zuma: “It is important to note that Psira did not uplift the Rusa suspension and they remain suspended. Although this is an interim order, Psira will abide by it. We have noted Rusa’s media statement regarding the allegations of corruption against officials. This is news to Psira as Rusa has failed to bring these allegations to the authority’s attention.”

She said that as a zero-tolerance corruption organisation, they took these allegations seriously and invites Rusa and members of the public to report any misconduct by any Psira official.

In an earlier statement when the suspension was announced, Psira said that it was “thorough” in its investigation and the immediate suspension was sustained until the finalisation of the Code of Conduct findings.

Zuma explained that according to Section 28 of the Code of Conduct, any person convicted of misconduct may be liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 24 months.

Psira chief rxecutive, Manabela Chauke said: “There is no amount of decorated reasons purported to be the rationale for harassing people, can serve as a pretext for bypassing the requirements of the Constitution and deliberate obfuscation in properly applying the Industry’s Code of Conduct.”

Since the announcement, public support for Rusa was phenomenal. Said one: “I have great admiration for Rusa. I follow all their activities on FB and I wish we can have an efficient company here. The team is very effective and show up even before SAPS arrive. I am appalled by this ruling and ask that this be set aside and allow them to do there work. These are brave soldiers who are honest with a no nonsense approach. Let us unite and fight for them (sic).

Said another: “They actually more productive than our SAPS. Today people choose their profession by the pay and not their passion. Rusa do it with pride and passion.” (sic)

And yeat another supporter said: “This is shocking. Rusa serves the community at its best. From the people to the fur animals they go above and beyond the call of duty. I wish suspension can be awarded to people that cause corruption to the country on tax payers accounts.

“Your focus of investigation and suspension is on the wrong type of sector. I hope and pray that the suspension is uplifted and RUSA can go back to what they do best. Protecting the community against crime and unlawful conduct.” (sic).