Wednesday, June 24, 2009

South Africa is super safe! (…whenever there isn’t a crime occuring)

I'm not sure foreigners are as gullible as the South African authorities would have everyone believe. Many people are aware of the crime scourge and Dirty Tackle (a site about all things football / soccer for you yanks) has a funny take on the recent shenanigans at the Confed Cup. I think however, what will be a surprise to people who think "Ag, crime is crime, it happens everywhere" is the extent and severity of our special brand of criminality. Let's hope they don't leave home without a will filled in.

Remember what I said about the intense scrutiny the country and the regime would come under during WC2010? If this is a foretaste of things to come then I say, bring it on. Viva WC2010!


Prior to the Confederations Cup, South Africa tried to allay fears about their pesky little security problems like having one of the highest crime rates in the world and their average of 50 murders per day by practicing their terrorist attack procedures (pictured above) and bringing in an extra 40,000 agents. And now, with the group stage concluded, CEO of the FIFA Organising Committee Danny Jordaan has announced that everything is going fine and there are no reasons to worry. Hooray!

“I have been to every World Cup and every Confederations Cup since 1994 and the level of incidents in this tournament is no different to any of the others,” he said.

“As far as teams are concerned, there were two mentions of money loss, that’s the best way to describe it, the circumstance of which is now being looked at. Now I can tell you that players and teams lose money under different circumstances all the time.”

Yeah, like sometimes it gets stolen by bands of gun-carrying thieves. That’s hardly an indictment on the local security.

“Whether that can constitute to a major security breach for the teams, I won’t know.”

And why should he? It’s not like he’s in a position to oversee these things, as CEO of the FIFA Organizing Committee.

“Thefts from hotels happened in Germany. You can’t leave it (money) on the table and say you were robbed.”

Even if it was taken from your locked room or by prostitutes who didn’t do everything you agreed to.

But if Jordaan’s word isn’t good enough for you, here’s what South Africa’s national deputy police minister Fikile Mbalula had to say on the matter:

“The security has been generally very good throughout the Confederations Cup and we are quite encouraged. Of course we are ready for the World Cup.”

Wonderful! So I guess it really is all sunshine and lollipops down there. Except for, you know, all the crime that is actually taking place…

Police are investigating claims that the Johannesburg hotel rooms of five Egyptian players were robbed of about US$2,000, while Brazil said cash and a jacket were also stolen from two of their rooms in Pretoria.

There have been a number of minor incidents involving journalists and fans who have complained of not feeling safe or of encounters with corrupt police asking for bribes.

Visitors have also been left feeling jumpy after the hijacking of four British tourists by armed men who made off with their car soon after arriving in Johannesburg to watch rugby matches.

While some missing cash, a carjacking, a few bribe-hungry cops, and a stolen jacket don’t exactly constitute anarchy in the streets of South Africa, it’s not a good sign for what’s to come with the larger scale World Cup, either. Especially when organizers are so eager to brush everything under the rug so as not to make their risky decision look foolish and life-threateningly dangerous.

[Sources: Football365 and Canadian Press]

1 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

"Even if it was taken from your locked room or by prostitutes who didn’t do everything you agreed to."

Hell, even the whores aren't honest here. LOL.