Riot police break up World Cup wages demonstration

Armed riot police charged into hundreds of stewards at a World

Cup stadium in the early hours of Monday morning to break up a

protest about low wages.

Police appeared to set off two percussive grenades, causing loud

bangs, to drive the protesters out of a parking lot under the Moses

Mabhida Stadium in Durban hours after Germany beat Australia 4-0 in

Group D.

There was no immediate word of any injuries or arrests at the

protest.

Associated Press reporters saw about 30 riot police charge into

the crowd to drive it out of the stadium. While calm quickly

returned to the stadium, some of the security stewards, wearing

orange and green jackets, continued milling around outside.

An AP photographer said police fired tear gas at protesters

outside the stadium. A nearby street was littered with trash where

the protesters were forced away.

Police were called to the scene after hundreds of angry stewards

gathered to complain about their wages.

“We left our homes at seven in the morning and now it is nearly

1 o’clock,” said Vincent Mkize. “In the dry run, they didn’t want

to tell us how much we would get.”

Another of the stewards, Fanak Falakhebuengu, told the AP he had

heard they would be paid 1,500 rand ($195) a day but were only

getting 190 rand ($25).

“They were supposed to give us 1,500, that’s what FIFA told us

and they gave us 190. We are working from 12 o’clock until now,”

said another man who asked not to be named. He ran from police

before he could give his name.

FIFA did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment. The

police command set up in Johannesburg for World Cup-related matters

had not received an official report.