Yesterday I saw a link on Google news advising visitors to South Africa for the World Cup 2010 tournament to wear bullet proof vests for ‘securing reasons’. At the time I was not interested in reading the article further, so like most people, I ignored the article and continued with whatever I was doing at the time. It was until this morning when Paul Mtirara on South African Metro FM radio station mentioned the story – bullet proofing – as a very disturbing one.
BaySecur – a security company that looks after the German Football Federation (DFB) and their guests when the national team play away from Germany, according to The Times newspaper’s Abdul Milazi – is reported by The Witness, Sky News, Sports Features Communications®, Eyewitness News, South African Kick Off magazine and many other publications to have warned its football stars to “wear bullet-proof vests if they venture away from the team hotel during the tournament”.
Sport Bild’s Berries Bobmann and Torsten Rumpf reported bullet-proofing as “to protect Ballack & Co. in the country with one of the highest murder rates in the world with attacks if they leave the World Cup base near Pretoria left Velmore Grande”.
This is even more disturbing to suggest the players’ ability “to move freely outside the World Cup site parking, should be kept to a minimum. Otherwise, it must give the full program: armed personal protection and jackets for the players” so says Günter Fast, operational commander of BaySecur and that “It was also important to protect the hotel against invaders”.
“Ten to 20 security personnel from Germany alone will travel with South Africa. Moreover, being considered, according to German Football Federation Helmut Spahn, a chief for World Cup – on German hire bodyguards who work for a company operating in South Africa in Namibia – because who are experts in the country even better”
Spahn is further quoted as saying “we are more likely to use [our] own staff than previously customary. We are in conjunction with various service providers”.
All this security and bullet-proofing is “due to the high crime rates in South Africa” and “the DFB is taking no risks,” Spahn told Sky News yesterday. Then, how about not coming to SA or even Africa at all? Heh?
Okay, crime is happening in South Africa – some of which are very scary and too much of which is reported, if not incorrectly by the relevant authorities – and still, this is also happening in other parts of the world, Germany included, although it [crime] may not be as explicitly reported as it is in South Africa. So what?
As a result, I careless if Germans or whoever initiated this bullet-proofing agree or not, how about you leave ‘South Africa for the South Africans’ and Africans and those who would not mind coming for the World Cup next year as Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe is reported to have told Tony Blair at one stage, and probably keep Germany to yourselves?
This – I must emphasise – is not condoning crime in whatever form.
However, for Germans or whichever country you may come from to portray crime in that way and even suggest to players to wear bullet-proof vests which I find very upsetting is outrageous and dispecable!
If I had it in me, I would think twice about allowing Germans to even tour or visit South Africa in the near future, if not restrict them from visiting this country of mine at all.
And in this way, I won’t have to deal with seeing people wearing bullet proof whenever I go.
Like Abdul Milazi of The Times newspaper, I too, wonder if they, Germans “will be wearing ear plugs as well during their games because of the vuvuzelas” since they have been reported to have an effect on one’s hearing ability which could result in one being deaf.