Thorburn Security Solutions is an industry leading Security Services Provider that offers integrated, intelligence-driven safety and security solutions through an advanced risk mitigation approach.

 
 

Our wide range of products and services transform traditional security services into intelligence-driven operations that add value for our customers.

 
 

Thorburn Security Solutions is an industry-leading Security Services Provider which offers intelligence-driven security solutions through an integrated risk reducing approach.

 

Products & Services

SPECIALISED SERVICES

HOLISTIC SERVICE OFFERING. TAILORED SOLUTION. EXPERT DELIVERY.

Thorburn launches Specialised Training Academy

Specialised Services launched its Specialised Training Academy in February 2020. The Academy, located in Bellville, Cape Town, is accredited to provide PSIRA (Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority) training courses, firearms training for...

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THE FUTURE OF POLYGRAPHS IN SA’S WORKPLACE

An upcoming court battle will challenge the use of polygraphs in the South African workplace.

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IS CLOSE PROTECTION (BODYGUARDING) STILL RELEVANT?

Close Protection (CP), or bodyguarding, has been around for centuries and entails safeguarding a client or ‘principal’ through proactive and reactive measures.

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THORBURN SPECIALISED SERVICES SELECTED AS A PREFERRED PARTNER FOR WCPSC

The Western Cape Provincial Sport Confederation (WCPSC), has announced that Thorburn Specialised Services will

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Client Commendations

HISENSE SA SALES HOLDINGS (PTY) LTD

“On behalf of Hisense we would just like to thank you and your team for the extremely professional manner in which you have acted and conducted yourselves during our strike in Atlantis. You and your team have endeavoured to accommodate all our requests and needs during this period including additional assistance and meetings that was not entirely part of your scope and agreement and was highly appreciated.”


BAXTER THEATRE CENTRE

“I would like to compliment your guys for a job well done during the Rolex event at Baxter Theatre Centre. Thumbs up for them and keep up the good work.”


RELATE

“I have to just say that the two guards that we were allocated to us were absolutely phenomenal.

Their awareness, attention to detail, engagement and absolute professionalism blew us away. I can only take hats off to them both and thank them for taking such good care of us all.”

FES BRAND MARKETING

“Please extend my heartfelt gratitude for excellent service on the part of your Thorburn team.”

THORBURN SPECIALISED SERVICES – A NEW FOCUS TO PROTECT OUR CLIENTS

Thorburn Security Solutions, Tsebo’s protection solutions business, is proud to announce an exciting new development in their service capability – the launch of the national Specialised Services Division.

For over 20 years, Thorburn has protected many of the leading companies and institutions in South Africa – offering world-class services in manned guarding, technical services, remote monitoring and armed response.

In line with our strategy of providing integrated, intelligence-driven safety and security solutions, Thorburn have launched Specialised Services as a separate division to provide a suite of bespoke solutions for high-risk situations that do not fall into the “Business-as-Usual” category. These situations require a high degree of planning and specialist execution, tailored to the individual clients’ situation and needs. The launch of Thorburn Specialised Services is a natural evolution for us, as we have built an experience base over a decade in providing these services to scores of clients.

Thorburn Specialised Services will be offering the following services:

We are delighted to have one of South Africa’s foremost specialised services experts to head up the division. Jonathan Boucher is an experienced executive, having held senior roles throughout his career, including his current role as MD for Thorburn Southern. Over the last 12 years he has performed various planning and operational roles for multi-national companies operating throughout Africa and the Middle East, developing significant competencies in mining, oil and gas, and risk management, particularly in high risk environments.Jonathan holds two honours degrees in Management and Military Geography respectively, various international security and safety qualifications, as well as explosive ordinance disposal and firearms training certifications. He is a lead auditor on numerous ISO standards and is a member of several prestigious safety and security associations, including ASIS, IFA, SASA, IIRSM and IOSH.

Thorburn will continue to live its client promise of exceptional service quality and value every day; and develop further innovative product offerings to improve the management of client risk.

Holistic Service offering. Tailored solution. Expert delivery.

SPECIALISED SERVICES

HOLISTIC SERVICE OFFERING. TAILORED SOLUTION. EXPERT DELIVERY.

THORBURN LAUNCHES SPECIALISED TRAINING ACADEMY

Specialised Services launched its Specialised Training Academy in February 2020. The Academy, located in Bellville, Cape Town, is accredited to provide PSIRA (Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority) training courses, firearms training for private and business purposes, as well as to offer a range of specialist training programmes aimed at people exposed to higher-risk environments. By providing ready access to quality instruction at competitive prices, the Academy aims to empower students through knowledge and skills development.

The facility, designed to maximise learning and comfort, consists of two state-of-the-art training rooms, and seats 40 students. Accredited instructors, sporting years of subject-matter expertise and experience, maximise learnability by employing the latest training techniques and practices aligned with international best practice.

In partnership with several prestigious training institutions, the Academy provides a comprehensive suite of standard and specialised PSIRA security courses, in both classroom and self-study format. “The provision of quality instruction, delivered in an easily digestible format and reinforced with practical exercises, promotes long-term retention of knowledge and skills. This not only results in a better officer, but ultimately serves to improve the private security industry as a whole,” says Jonathan Boucher, Director Specialised Services. “The best students will be offered employment at Thorburn, ensuring that we are able to consistently attract high-calibre officers while simultaneously achieving our aggressive equity targets.”

Having successfully attained accredited training provider status from the prestigious International Firearms Training Academy (IFTA) and Professional Firearms Trainers Council (PFTC), the Academy offers a comprehensive range of firearm courses, from personal protection for civilians to in-depth training for the security industry. Access to indoor and outdoor shooting facilities and quality equipment, ensures that the needs of both individual students and groups can be catered for.

The Academy also provides a host of specialised training programmes aimed at private individuals, corporates and government agencies conducting business or travel in politically volatile areas or in rural regions with strained critical infrastructure. An experienced cadre of trainers from specialist military and police units combine expert knowledge with extensive Africa experience to provide a range of specialised training experiences that equip students to prepare for, and successfully address, these challenges.

The establishment of further training centres in Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal are planned for 2020.

SPECIALISED SERVICES

HOLISTIC SERVICE OFFERING. TAILORED SOLUTION. EXPERT DELIVERY.

THE FUTURE OF POLYGRAPHS IN SA’S WORKPLACE

An upcoming court battle will challenge the use of polygraphs in the South African workplace. Papers filed in the Labour Court in October 2019 will contest the assumed lack of legislation that protects workers against the use of polygraph tests, as well as its possible contravention of the Employment Act and the Constitution.

If the Labour Court rules in favour of the General Industrial Workers Union of South Africa (Giwusa), the outcome will change the practice of polygraph and Voice Stress Analyses testing in the country. It may also lead to a significant number of cases related to perceived unfair dismissal, and failed pre-employment tests, being referred to the CCMA and Labour Court.

The matter, brought by Giwusa, relates to the dismissal of three warehouse workers at the Silveray Stationery Company in Heriotdale, Johannesburg. According to Giwusa, in early 2018 the workers were instructed by senior managers at Silveray to undergo lie-detector tests. When they refused, they were dismissed for being insubordinate and for breaching their employment contracts which state that workers agree to submit to polygraph testing.

WHY USE A POLYGRAPH?

Polygraph results are widely used in labour disputes and disciplinary enquiries, but they are not intended to provide irrefutable evidence to a court of law. The polygraph is an investigative tool and results should be used primarily to assist investigators in narrowing inquiries by identifying suspects and collecting relevant information. Polygraph results should therefore be submitted to a court only when they can corroborate other admissible evidence and assist the court in reaching a verdict.

The acceptance of polygraph examination results depends largely on the credibility and qualification of the examiner and how they conducted the examination.

WHEN IS THE EMPLOYER PERMITTED TO USE A POLYGRAPH?

According to the South African Labour Guide, employers are permitted to use the polygraph to investigate specific incidents where:

  • Employees had access to the property, which is the subject of the investigation.
  • There is a reasonable suspicion that the employee was involved in the incident.
  • There has been economic loss or injury to the employer's business, such as theft of company property.
  • The employer is combating dishonesty in positions of trust.
  • The employer is combating serious alcohol, illegal drugs or narcotics abuse and fraudulent behaviour within the company.
  • The employer is combating deliberate falsification of documents and dishonesty regarding the true identity of the people involved.
  • Pre-employment screening polygraph tests are done to assess the risk of candidates in terms of their past and current involvement in criminal activity, the use of illegal narcotics and dishonesty in their past work environment.

Polygraph testing is also widely used for criminal cases such as theft, fraud, assault and marital infidelity or child abuse, to name but a few.

POLYGRAPH TESTS AND THE LAW IN SOUTH AFRICA

In South Africa there is no legislation regulating the use of the polygraph, which means nothing is prohibiting or preventing the submission of polygraph results to corroborate other evidence.

Where a person consents to a polygraph, it cannot be seen as being in contradiction of the Constitution. Proper polygraph procedures are regarded as complying with the contents of the Constitution and the Labour Relations Act and actively promote fair labour practices and respect for the human rights of the examinee because it allows the person an opportunity to be heard and to prove their innocence. The following decisions support the above assertions:

In the case of FAWU obo Kapesi & others v Premier Foods Ltd t/a Blue Ribbon Salt River (2010) 19 (LC), the Labour Court considered the weight a court must attach to polygraph results. The court accepted from the onset that polygraph testing, although frequently used in the context of workplace discipline, is by no means uncontroversial. It found that a polygraph on its own can never be conclusive proof of the guilt of an employee, but could at best  be used as part of the investigation process to determine whether or not a further investigation into the conduct of a particular individual is warranted.

This view is supported by the decision in Truworths Ltd v CCMA and Others (2008) JOL 22565 (LC), in which it was held that the Commissioner cannot disregard polygraph evidence but has the discretion to determine the weight of the evidence. When Polygraph evidence is uncorroborated, the evidence shall bear little weight.

In Amalgamated Pharmaceuticals Ltd v Grobler NO and others (2004) 13 LC 1.11.3 the court confirmed the principle that, in practice, a polygraph does not serve to prove that someone is actually lying but is merely an indication of deception. The sole reliance by the employer on unspecific polygraph results is insufficient to prove that the dismissal was fair.

For these reasons, a polygraph cannot be used to determine the guilt of an employee on its own, it is merely an indication of deception. A polygraph may, however, be taken into consideration where other supporting evidence is available, provided there is clear evidence on the qualifications of the polygraphist and that it is clear from the evidence that the test was done according to acceptable and recognisable standards.

CAN ONE BE COMPELLED TO UNDERGO A POLYGRAPH TEST?

It is against the Constitution of South Africa to compel a person to undergo a polygraph examination unless he/she consents to it in writing. The mere fact that an employee refuses to undergo a polygraph is not in itself sufficient to substantiate an employee’s guilt.

IMPLICATIONS FOR EMPLOYERS

Does this mean that an employer should not use polygraph testing? No, it does not, however there are some strict rules of fairness relating to polygraph tests that need to be adhered to by the polygraphist and the employer. If they are not, test results will be found to be unreliable, unfairly applied and largely useless in the CCMA or the Labour Court. In essence, to comply with the test of fairness, the Labour Court held that the test or assessment used would need to be shown to be:

  • Scientifically valid and reliable.
  • Capable of being fairly applied to employees.
  • Unbiased against any employee or group.

During court and CCMA processes, polygraphists have been accepted as expert witnesses whose evidence needs to be tested for reliability. Therefore, the polygraphist should be called to testify as an expert witness in the disciplinary hearing or the CCMA case.

Kobus Laas
Leon Olivier
Senior polygraphists with more than 50 years combined experience
Principal consultants to Thorburn Specialised Services

SPECIALISED SERVICES

HOLISTIC SERVICE OFFERING. TAILORED SOLUTION. EXPERT DELIVERY.

IS CLOSE PROTECTION (BODYGUARDING) STILL RELEVANT?

Close Protection (CP), or bodyguarding, has been around for centuries and entails safeguarding a client or ‘principal’ through proactive and reactive measures. In the ‘Dark Ages’ of Close Protection, the focus was on purely physical barriers, including ‘gates, guns and guards’ to protect the client.

However, in response to an increasingly sophisticated adversary and a rapidly changing threat landscape the industry has adapted to embrace technology and adopt a more proactive approach.

Client concerns are varied, but the reasons for hiring a Close Protection Officer (CPO) usually centre on one or more of the following:

  • Security risks associated with the area of operation. A CPO/security detail may be required to secure a client during travel or residence in an area that is plagued by high crime, poor security and heightened risk. Potential risks include opportunistic crimes, such as harassment and robbery; or more targeted attacks, such as a car hijacking and kidnapping for ransom.  
  • A duty of care requirement. Duty of care is a company’s moral or legal obligation to ensure the safety of its employees, or other identified persons. A company has a duty to protect their employees who are placed at risk as a result of their corporate responsibilities.
  • Concerns related to business continuity. Business continuity is an organisation’s ability to ensure operations are not severely affected by an unplanned incident. A critical security-related incident involving a senior member of a company could potentially result in dire consequences, including a direct impact on business continuity and brand reputation.  
  • Association with status and position. The use of a CPO or security detail is often associated with wealth and is used to convey standing. This is largely restricted to government delegates and, to a lesser degree, celebrities.    

CAN A CPO MITIGATE RISK? 

Yes. A well-trained and experienced CPO or security detail, armed with a thorough understanding of the operational environment and potential threats, can mitigate client risks to as low as reasonably practicable.

A CPO can detect potential adversary action and develop appropriate mitigation strategies by:

  • Compiling a detailed security risk assessment (SRA);
  • Counter surveillance;
  • Intelligence gathering and;
  • Threat analysis.

In most instances, the presence of a CPO is sufficient to deter a potential adversary as criminals tend to target people who appear vulnerable and less likely to present resistance. CPOs are an important protective barrier between a potential adversary and the client and can immediately respond to an incident or advise a client of an emerging or imminent threat.

SECURE DRIVER VERSUS A CPO 

A Secure Driver is a screened and vetted security officer who has undergone specialist driver and incident management training. Although often highly trained, a secure driver is not a CPO. Some companies prefer to use of a secure driver instead of a CPO, largely because of the higher costs associated with a CP service.

There is no ‘one size fits all’

CPOs and secure drivers fulfil specific functions and using either or both, as part of a security detail, will depend on the client’s risk profile and environment in which they operate.  A CPO should not be used as a secure driver and vice versa.

In areas of minimal risk, a secure driver will suffice.  In areas of significant risk, however, it is vital to have maximum surveillance while in transit and a two-man team (i.e. secure driver and CPO) will significantly increase surveillance, threat identification and response capability. A good secure driver pays attention to the road, manages the vehicle’s operation and performs secondary surveillance; whist while the CPO conducts direct surveillance, especially at critical choke points such as traffic lights and road mergers, and manages the response to threats.

It is difficult to quantify the success of CPOs as it is almost impossible to determine how many planned and opportunistic attacks are prevented as a result of their presence and planning. Given the increased expertise of adversaries and available means of attack; the exceptionally low number of reported incidents involving protected clients is evidence that a professional, experienced secure driver/CPO/security detail can effectively mitigate and manage potential attacks against clients.

Gareth J Hicks
Close Protection professional with more than 25 years’ local and international experience 

SPECIALISED SERVICES

HOLISTIC SERVICE OFFERING. TAILORED SOLUTION. EXPERT DELIVERY.

THORBURN SPECIALISED SERVICES SELECTED AS A PREFERRED PARTNER FOR WCPSC

The Western Cape Provincial Sport Confederation (WCPSC), has announced that Thorburn Specialised Services will be their preferred event solutions partner for all forthcoming amateur sporting events. WCPSC is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and administers, promotes and monitors all amateur sport federations and districts within the Western Cape.

“I am delighted and honoured to reinforce this latest cooperation between Thorburn and the WCPSC, representing our newly launched division - Specialised Services,” says Stephan Botha, Managing Director at Thorburn Security Solutions. “The enhanced strategic cooperation between Thorburn Specialised Services and the WCPSC will not only benefit both companies, but will also assist in uplifting local communities through sport.”

Thorburn recently launched Specialised Services as a separate division to provide a suite of bespoke solutions for higher-risk situations that does not fall into the “business-as-usual” category.

“Our partnership agreement with the WCPSC now gives us the opportunity to showcase our end-to-end events and risk management solutions to the greater public,” says Botha.

According to the WCPSC President, JP Naude, Thorburn has proved themselves to the confederation over a number of years providing consistent good service and successfully securing key events for the province, such as the Africa Judo Championships, T20 Cricket Tournaments, UWKF Continental Africa Karate Championships and many more.

“We are pleased to put Thorburn Specialised Services forward as our event solutions partner of choice for all our provincial amateur sporting events in the Western Cape and trust that this partnership will grow from strength to strength.”

Jonathan Boucher, Director of Thorburn Specialised Services, is of the opinion that the partnership and preferred service provider status provides the business with a significant growth opportunity in the events market. “We are now able to showcase the full spectrum of our events - and risk management solutions, including security, cleaning, catering, medical, health and safety, fire risk management, and more.”

Thorburn has a longstanding history in supporting and developing communities through sport in South Africa, particularly through youth initiatives. “I am pleased that our partnership agreement with the WCPSC and our increased involvement in the amateur sports arena will help further our shared cause. We firmly believe that sport provides an important vehicle for the development of leadership, discipline and healthy life habits which is to the benefit of not only the local communities, but all of society,” says Boucher.


WCPSC President – JP Naude

SOLUTIONS

Thorburn Specialised Services offers bespoke integrated, intelligence-driven safety and security solutions for high-risk situations that do not fall into the “Business-as-Usual” category. These situations require a high degree of planning and specialist execution, tailored to meet our customers’ unique situations and needs. The services include, but are not limited to:

EVENT MANAGEMENT

When it comes to managing events, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without Thorburn Specialised Services. Our holistic service offering and experienced events team make planning and managing an event easy and convenient. We offer the following solutions:

  • End-to-end event planning and management
  • Marketing and sales
  • Contractor sourcing and management
  • Venue preparation and builds
  • Sound and lighting
  • Security
  • Medical
  • Health and safety
  • Traffic management
  • Fire risk management
  • Permit compliance
  • Catering
  • Hygiene services
  • Cleaning and waste disposal

GET IN TOUCH:

+27 (0)21 948 0474 specialisedservices@thorburn.co.za BACK TO TOP

MEDICAL SERVICES

Time is of the essence during any medical emergency. Our world-class medical staff

and thorough planning ensure that you and your employees are able to access the best possible care, when you need it most. We offer the following solutions:

  • Medical threat assessment
  • Emergency response and evacuation planning
  • Medical Staff
  • Temporary and permanent primary care facilities
  • Bespoke ambulance and medical support vehicles
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Training

GET IN TOUCH:

+27 (0)21 948 0474 specialisedservices@thorburn.co.za BACK TO TOP

FIRE MANAGEMENT

Failure to adequately identify, mitigate and manage fire risks poses not only a direct threat to life, property and information but may also result in innumerable indirect consequences such as reputational damage and increased insurance premiums. Thorburn Specialised Services has the service offering, expertise and experience to effectively manage your fire risk. We offer the following solutions:

  • Fire risk assessment
  • Fire management solution design
  • Provision of fire detection, suppression and management systems, equipment and vehicles
  • Servicing and ongoing maintenance of all types and makes of fire systems and equipment
  • Off-site monitoring of fire systems Provision of fire management personnel
  • Fire management training

GET IN TOUCH:

+27 (0)21 948 0474 specialisedservices@thorburn.co.za BACK TO TOP

RISK CONSULTING

Conducting business in today’s ever-changing commercial and political landscape is fraught with risk. Our experienced team combine industry-leading intelligence with unrivalled responsiveness and client service, enabling clients to mitigate their risk and successfully achieve their business objectives. We offer the following solutions:

  • Security Threat Risk Analysis and Audits
  • Medical Risk Analysis and Response Planning
  • Health and Safety Consulting
  • Crisis Management
  • Due Diligence Studies
  • Criminal and lifestyle checks
  • Investigations and litigation support
  • Cyber Security
  • Polygraph and Voice Stress Analysis
  • Technical Security Counter Measures

GET IN TOUCH:

+27 (0)21 948 0474 specialisedservices@thorburn.co.za BACK TO TOP

RISK MANAGEMENT

Travel in a foreign country can be daunting and filled with risk. Our local teams have the knowledge, experience and training to provide expert guidance and manage your movement, safely and securely. We offer the following solutions:

  • Meet and Greet
  • Secure Driver
  • Close Protection officers (armed and unarmed)
  • Traveller monitoring and response
  • Convoy Protection
  • Crowd facilitation
  • Operational intelligence
  • UAVs and Drones

GET IN TOUCH:

+27 (0)21 948 0474 specialisedservices@thorburn.co.za BACK TO TOP

SPECIALISED TRAINING

Conducting business or travelling in politically volatile areas or rural environments with strained critical infrastructure can be fraught with risk. Our Specialised Training department combines expert knowledge with extensive Africa experience to provide a range of specialised, fully accredited training courses that equip private individuals, corporates and governments for these challenges:

  • Corporates
    Training programs developed for persons traveling or working in remote areas or potentially hostile environments including journalists, geologists, bush pilots and other interested parties. Please download our flyer for more details.
  • Private individuals
    Training programs developed for persons traveling or living in high risk areas including farmers, response officers and medical first responders. Please download our flyer for more details.
  • Governments  A range of unique specialist defence and homeland security training courses developed for governments and international agencies. Please download our flyer for more details

GET IN TOUCH:

+27 (0)21 948 0474 specialisedservices@thorburn.co.za BACK TO TOP

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