JOHANNESBURG. A knife-proof vest being marketed to British tourists as a must-have item at the 2010 World Cup has been slammed by the South African government, which says it is completely pointless as most tourists killed will either be shot or run over by taxis. However, the country has recommitted itself to killing as few tourists as possible.
According to the BBC, the so-called stab vests are being marketed in the United Kingdom as essential security wear for the 2010 World Cup and cost up to $70.
However, this morning the South African government condemned the armoured items, describing them as alarmist, reactionary and discriminatory against people who earn a living through knife crime.
But, said spokesman Whiplash Mahlangu, the real outrage was how ineffective the vests would be in keeping tourists alive.
"We urge our visitors to remember that of the 1,500 South Africans who are murdered and the 1,100 who are killed on our roads every month, only a tiny minority succumb to knife wounds," said Mahlangu.
He added that while the usual 2,600 locals would be killed during the World Cup, South Africa was committed to killing as few international visitors as possible.
"If we can keep it down to around one percent of the South African average, that is 26 tourists, we'll consider that a job well done," said Mahlangu.
But, he said, visitors would have to accept that stab vests would "not be of optimum utility in an average hail of gunfire from an average assault rifle, or against the earnest advances of a Toyota Hilux's front fender".
He asked both South Africans and foreign tourists to remain positive about the World Cup.
"The world is coming," he said. "The important thing to remember is that of the 500,000 guests coming to our shores, 499,974 will be going home alive.
"Ultimately football will be the winner."