World Cup 2010: Terror Alerts & Police Shootings
South African based Manchester City supporter, Mariner sent us the following Countdown To the World Cup 2010 series.
Iceland has come and gone and remarkably no word from the powers at the South African Football Association regarding coach Joel Santana's future.
Of course, whatever report has been made by the three auditors has not been discussed yet, but with a recent record of played nine and lost eight his stock has hit an all time low. In addition, there are still rumours surrounding his predecessor, Carlos Parreira in that will be approached to replace the current coach.
Some reports here state that the 1-0 loss to Iceland showed an all round improvement in play, but really - population of Iceland 330,000 - South Africa 50 million. Its a bit like saying Manchester City played well against Whalley Range (my old club in the 50s. Do they still exist?)
Some six weeks ago and without any warning all US Consulates and Offices in South Africa shut down for two days due to the suspicion that terror attacks had been planned. And again there are rumours that Islamic groups will seize on the World Cup to attack Western, and specifically American targets in South Africa. Apparently messages between Somalia and local Muslims in Khayelitsha (just outside Capetown) have been intercepted.
Worryingly, an expert on Islamic militancy stated that South Africa's Security forces are woefully unprepared for any kind of attack .
For those of you planning to visit here during the World Cup, may I reiterate that as long as you stick to the tourist areas and travel in groups there should be no problem. The scenery is fantastic and the climate at that time of year awesome.
A few words of warning: Police may use lethal force
Crimes of violence which include the use of firearms, hijacking and rape show SA to be in the top few nations in the world. The Police have recently been encouraged by the Minister of Security (a Lady) to 'Kill the Bastards' - obviously against the Constitution.
Nevertheless it has been taken by a great number of the force to justify lethal force in attempting to make an arrest. Only two days ago a car carrying three people was riddled with bullets by the police as it had mistakenly been identified as a recently hi-jacked vehicle. On discovering their mistake the police drove off leaving one of the occupants to bleed to death. The other two were left to die. Thankfully they found are reportedly to be stable in hospital.
In the last twelve months over 600 people have died due to 'friendly' police action. Red robots (traffic lights to you) in dodgy areas are regularly jumped at night as these places are targeted by hi -jackers. Oh and there's more...waiting for green can cause serious problems as well, but enough on this. I don't want to cause any undue alarm!
Also, and I suppose this happens everywhere - there are reports that certain hotels and guest houses aim to quadruple their prices for the World Cup. Can I suggest everyone books early.
To read Mariners WC 2010 Countdown series #6, click here.