2007-11-19: Safety shouldn’t be for VIPs only

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2007-11-19: Safety shouldn’t be for VIPs only

Postby Rudi » Mon, 2007-11-19 20:08

Safety shouldn’t be for VIPs only


Ahead of this week’s draw in Durban for the qualifying round of the Fifa World Cup the SABC reported that National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi assured Parliament South Africa would be safe when hosting 2010. Let’s look at what he actually said: “I assure you now no incident will happen to any of the people that are going there that are VIPs because we have put measures in place.” So he’s not saying everyone will be safe, just the VIPs. What about the rest, the taxpayers and the hundreds of thousands of soccer tourists who are expected to come here? As United Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe asked: “Is there any hope of ordinary people having confidence in the police that should be protecting them?” Selebi’s response was that all of us must “put our shoulders to the wheel”, which is hardly reassuring. To be fair he also told Parliament's Safety and Security Committee that a new radio communication system worth R600 million had been installed in Gauteng and 350 CCTV cameras would soon be used in townships countrywide. He failed to mention that the expensive new radio system wasn’t working. Selebi pledged that not one international guest in Durban for the draw would be a crime victim. To ensure that, he’ll have to flood the ICC venue with police, leaving the rest of Durban vulnerable. Given Selebi’s approach we can expect the same for 2010: a massive concentration to look after the chosen few, while everyone else is left to fend for themselves. Remember, months ago he told the same committee that prostitution and drinking in public should be legalised for the Cup. Somehow that doesn’t sound like a crime-free environment for the hoi polloi.
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