So far 12 games have been played and four are remaining in the ‘noisiest FIFA Confederations Cup tournament', and the event has progressed reasonably smoothly. However, the Local Organising Committee and government took international media to task on Monday 22 June 2009 over what they feel is the sensationalism of incidents of crime surrounding the event.
The first phase of the tournament has been completed without any major security risk incident being reported. The CEO of the LOC Dr Danny Jordaan and the Deputy Minister of police Fikile Mbalula were speaking at the media briefing which was held in Sandton, Johannesburg on Monday afternoon.
The aim of the press conference was for the LOC to discuss the latest developments around the Confederations Cup and also the lessons that they have been learned so far.
Even though he did not give details, Jordaan said his committee will be working at strengthening marketing initiatives aimed at promoting the upcoming tournament. He said the World Cup in South Africa is going to be the biggest, and that there has been a big demand of tickets with some of the matches already being oversubscribed.
Perception of crime is ‘wrong'
Deputy Minister of safety and security said that the international perceptions on crime in South Africa are wrong. He urged journalist to strive to report facts and to refrain from sensationalising in their reporting of news. “It is unfair for international media to sensationalise reported crimes. The question of theft happens everywhere ... it has happened in Germany where fans were robbed,” said Mbalula.
"Security at matches has gone well and here we have to thank the commitment of the South African government and South African Police Service, who have really come to the party and gone out of their way to assist FIFA and the local organising committee."
“The levels of crime reported since the beginning of the Confederations Cup are no different to previous Confederations Cups hosted by other countries. I have been to all of them and to World cups since 1994 and the level of incidents in this cup are no different to other countries," said Jordaan.
"We mustn't sensationalise because it's very, very wrong. You must base your report on facts. Charge us on our track record, not on what you think might have happened, added Mbalula.
He also said police were monitoring security in and around stadiums and that crimes such as Thursday's alleged hotel robbery were isolated cases.
No major breaches
The deputy minister said this after being questioned on what's his definition of a major breach of security during the Confederations Cup, following the alleged theft of money from the Egyptian soccer team's hotel rooms on Thursday night. He said there hadn't been any major breaches of security and they were investigating the incident involving Egyptian players.
"It being an unfortunate incident, we are investigating. If you bring people into the hotel as friends you must bear responsibility for them. So if you invite people who turn out to be security-unfriendly then it is unfortunate because we can't follow you up to your room,” said Mbalula.
South Africa's road leading to 11 June 2010 has been long and challenging, and there have been media reports about FIFA having other plans in case South Africa fails to live up to expectations. These have consistently been refuted by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter who has said there is no “Plan B”.
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The fact that 1 in 4 men admitted to rape in SA makes international headlines!-
We shoot ourselves in the foot regularly and wonder why we are in the headlines globally. Outrageous headlines like that make us look pathetic. So what do you expect? Start addressing the ills of the country and maybe then we won't be in the headlines!
In the case referred to in this article, of the Egyptian delegation that cried foul on robbery when in fact its turning out to be theft by invited guests(this case prostitutes), the media sensationalism wasnt warranted. SA has a serious crime issue that needs to be addressed by not just loud and sensationalist headlines(yes SA media looking at you) but rather by social programmes that will adress the inequalities of the past. It is folly for to ignore and downplay that a people who has been brutalised for 300 years by a violent racist regime could come out at the end of it unscathed. If we continue to live in a society where majority of people live in economic and social strife whilst a few live a life of abundance and privilege, we will carry on having a seriouscrime issue that is inextricably linked to our recent sordid racist past. What I see is a country waging a silent war with itself and trying to treat this issue as just a plain case of criminality is dishonest and self-serving.When all self-respecting social scientists will tell you that we are coming from a brutal past therefore not a surprise at all to have so much hate and dispicable brutality alive in our hearts and minds. SA is not the first nor the only country with such high violent crime rates, its often prevelant is societies with disparing income levels, Brazil in point here where they have similar crime problems and not surprisingly they straddle both the developed and developing worlds similar to SA. The FIFA World Cup 2010 will come and go and my money is on resounding success. Even S Blatter has alluded to the fact that it could possibly be the most successful WC in history. But our issues as a nation, crime included will have to be dealt with; with honesty and less knee-jerk reaction from all concerned; government, civil society and media as we need to be able to live ourselves beyond 2010. We also need to accept that the world is not coming to save us in 2010 and trying to shout from the roof tops for the world not to come in, as the proverbial ship is already sunk, just makes us look pathetic helpless fools if not somewhat unpatriotic. The world will be here to celebrate with us and high crime rate shouldn't be used to try and take away from this moment because soccer is a unifying game and people will come here in droves to experience the 1st WC by an African host. For most of them, it will be the first time that they will be in SA. 93 000 Americans have already booked their 2010 tickets, suggest SAfricans do not sit on the sidelines in perpetual negativity whilst their country and continent marks a historical moment and claim its place amongst the nations of the world.Come on SA, lets do it for the next generation, this country needs the WC more than FIFA needs SA.Ask any German what 2006 did for their national psyche,2010 could do loads to unite and grant us a chance to heal this emotionally and psychologically bruised nation of ours.
The issue of crime effecting of World Confed Championship is actually the most embarrassing incidents in the news wave that tends to undermind 2010 FIFA world Cup. It is now known that the Egypt's Hotel residence thiefery was somehow self-inflicted.But philosophers often ask "how creates any any opportunity for stealing - the victim, the society or the thief? The truth is that we take the issue of morality for granted and using kid globe in attempting to solve of crime fighting crime minded 'dual economy'. Where has the techno-crime skills and efforts gone to at a time the embarrassing situation came to the fore?
Surely, neither the NOC nor the Minister of Police Affairs can stop the 'offensive global media impact and sensation. Its magnifying glass cannot be overlooked. The society breeds what it wants to rip. This means we must cultivate a new attitude and behavioural challenge and fight crime to the pulp.
Times for taking times lightly and for granted have gone for good.
The issue of empty stadiums yet to be put paid. Something serious has to be done to preserve South African honour and hospitality needs to done to arrest the hydra-headed 'tokolosi' tarnishing the improving image of South Africa coming again just a year after the humilating Xenophic attacks on foreigners.
International observers could smell some of these misdeameanors as internal sabotages to the 2010 FIFA World Cup soon after FIFA gave its applause on the Country's infrastructure development and readiness to host the World Cup.
The LOC, the Security agencies and the Presidency need to to get to the root of this big image tainting. While the AU, AFC and FIFA join South shouting Ke nako, (It's time to honour), hoodlums and members of the organised crime group are busy humilating the nation. South Africa
needs to row out all available crime gadgets and technology with all commitments to fish out the detractors and rid itself of this embarrassment aimed at humilating the African Continent of its honour and glory at this finest hour.
Mr. Emmanuel is a Sport Tourism researcher based at the Faculty of Busines, Cape
Peninsula University of Technology.
Two actually... firstly, if today's current crime rate is retribution by an oppressed people on to the privileged - how do you explain the high crime rate in the townships. Frankly I think the poor are still suffering at their brothers' hands since us 'privileged' middle class can pay for our own security...
secondly - if it's a natural progression of oppression as is your argument why aren't Jewish people out there killing Germans? Come now, revenge is a poor excuse for the missing humanity in this picture. Crime is brutal and colourblind and it's thriving purely and simply because it can.
I can not believe that this sort of ridiculous thinking still exists. I suppose xenaphobic attacks are a product of 300 years of oppressive rule. That 1 in 4 men admitting to rape is a product of 300 years of opressive rule. That taxi drivers failing to abide by the rule of law is a product of 300 years of oppressive rule that . . .
I could go on and on. Like the man says, you don't see Jews reacting to Germans over the horrors of the 2nd World War. Africa and Africans need to stop using race as the excuse for everything and anything they don't like (look at that clown Pieter de Villiers - as soon as he gets a bit of constructive criticism, he labells it racist) Africans are responsible for the perceptions that they have created. It is high time they did something to change perceptions by being responsible and changing the worlds perceptions of Africa and its people.
I put my opinion on the table and I do feel strongly there is a link to our current crime wave to the recent brutality that a majority of this country's people were subjected to for 300 years. Whether you agree or not, is neither here nor there. The reality is that we do live in a country of 2 realities and my argument is that as long as these huge economic disparities continue and in effect are fiercely defended by the privileged, we will continue to bear the brunt of crime. And never compare what happened in this country to what happened in Nazi Germany. Legitimate and indigenous South Africans were and brutalised by a few who had the political power. I do not condone crime but I do support a real look of the root cause of it without any knee-jerk reactions that has been mostly displayed by our media and certain sections that have been calling for death penalty.
Nandipha. Thanks for responding. I see your point. But remember a large part of the crime is also surely being done by non-South Africans (generalising here maybe?). and it still doesn't explain why there is black on black crime. Sometimes to move forward is not to look back...
Nandipha, I actually agree with you when it comes reasons for so much crime. But adding to the reasons I also feel that the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer. It is sad how the poor are told to tolerate little pay due to the recesion and yet the riche keep getting extreme increases and bonuses, can't the rich also sacrifice for the poor to survive. Atleast 2percent of their pay.... Come on South Africans, what's with the greed.