So whats the deal? Did the bodyguards of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s daughter go to far when they allegedly assulted two photograhers?
We say yes, if we are talking about un warranted assult. We say no, if they were truly protecting their client from intentional acts of harm real or perceived.
Hong Kong’s head prosecutor decided not to prosecute the male Mapfumo Marks and female bodyguard, Manyaira Reliance Pepukai, who allegedly felt that they had reason to expect that the photographers posed a threat to their client when they were trespassing. Photographers Colin Galloway and Tim O’Rourke, working for Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper were alleged to get to close when the O’Rourke was gripped by his neck supposedly from the female bodyguard, while the male bodyguard some how bruised Galloway.
This should have never happen. First, how did the photographers get so close to the principa (client) that the bodyguards had to take this action? Second, there is something that happens to bodyguards when they perceive a threat. Their adrenaline pumps and they may not think clearly. It is imperative to train for issues where a potential threat does get close to your client. The most important issue is to determine if they are a threat in very short order so you do know how to handle a situation.
It is my opinion that the male and female bodyguard both were aware that these visitors were photographers. Is it possible that they felt untouchable because of who their client was? Were they trained in how to identify a real threat? Is it possible that they are just inexperienced and have not had the training in when it is appropriate to use combative or defensive techniques.
We don’t know the answers. We are not assuming that the male and female bodyguards did anything wrong. However, when an incident ocurrs with a bodyguard you will be sure to read about it. Our job is to not only protect the client from intentional acts of harm but also protect them from embarassing situations. Is it possible that the client or family is embarassed by the negative attention?
Professionalism, education, training and more training are required in this industry. A professional bodyguard should not go a year without refresher training for some of the basics and should not fail to update themselves with the latest in combatting terrorism and keeping their clients safe.
Denida Zinxhiria, CPSS