There will be no bloodbath - Jordaan

2010-04-09 09:39

There will be no machete bloodbath during the 2010 FIFA World Cup to avenge the

murder of Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader Eugene Terre’Blanche, Local

Organising Committee CEO Danny Jordaan said today.

“No. It’s not going to happen,” Jordaan replied to questions about

international media reports warning soccer fans that they could be “caught up in

a machete race war” in South Africa.

Jordaan was speaking at a reportback on the organising committee’s

annual general meeting in Sandton.

Vengeance

Immediately after Terre’Blanche’s murder, the AWB vowed vengeance,

but later retracted the threat, instead indicating that it would implement a

security plan to protect its members and that this would “fall within the laws

of the country”.

However, in making the announcement, newly appointed AWB leader

Steyn van Ronge said the organisation would not take responsibility for the

actions of individual members.

Terre’Blanche was beaten to death on his farm in Ventersdorp on

Saturday, allegedly by two of his workers. His funeral takes place in

Ventersdorp today.

Misrepresentation

Many soccer fans in England had hired extra security even before

the killing, Britain’s Daily Star newspaper reported on Monday under the

headline: “World Cup fans face bloodbath: race war declared in South

Africa”.

It pointed out that the murder took place just 40 minutes from

England’s World Cup camp and claimed that “machete gangs were roaming the

streets”.

“Like many others, I have sold my football tickets. Nobody wants to

visit a country run by buffoons and they advertise their stupidity daily,” a fan

named Derek commented on an internet article on FIFA World Cup security after

the murder.

“I won’t be at all surprised if a few bombs go off at some of the

stadiums during the World Cup soccer matches,” commented an internet user named

Johnny, adding: “These guys won’t let anybody get away with their leader’s

assassination without taking revenge.”

“Please don’t go to the World Cup. You are not safe there. The

crime rate is unreal. Your watch, the lady’s ring will be stolen at gunpoint.

Stay away. Please,” wrote a user named Koos.

Reassurance

FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke said tournament security had

not received any specific threats: “We have not received any calls telling us

what is going to happen.”

Whatever did happen would be dealt with by security. “It’s not

public,” he said.

Interpol’s head of operations Chris Eaton was advising FIFA and the

international policing agency is sending more than 200 officials to assist in

security matters, said Valcke.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that, according to tour

operators, Terre’Blanche’s murder had not led to cancellations and that many of

the fans coming to South Africa knew it had a high crime rate.

The organising committee said yesterday that 500 000 tickets

would go on sale over-the-counter on April 15.

Sales until now had been “almost the same as Germany [which hosted

the tournament in 2006], perhaps slightly better,” said Jordaan.

He conceded, though, that it was unlikely there would be as many

international visitors as was initially anticipated (450 000), largely because

of the global economic crisis. It was more likely there would be about 350 000,

he said.


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