Tickets red card: DA ruled offside

2010-06-23 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL Legislature Speaker Neliswa Nkonyeni has condemned the Democratic Alliance’s criticism of the allocation of free Fifa World Cup tickets to the members of the legislature “as nothing but cheap political point scoring”.

Nkonyeni was responding to media reports that the DA’s KZN Legislature leader, John Steen­huisen, has issued a statement questioning the decision by the Office of the Premier to allocate World Cup tickets to MPLs and some political staff dealing with international affairs.

“The office of the Speaker is very appreciative of the action taken by the Premier to market the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

“Today everyone talks about the beauty of our province and all that can be attributed to the sterling work done by the office of the Premier,” Nkonyeni said.

She added that when the province was hosting Germany and Australia last week, most of the MPLs played a prominent part in ensuring that the first game in Durban became the success that it was.

Nkonyeni added that the 2010 Fifa World Cup tournament will go down in history as one of the events that cemented race relations in South Africa.

Deputy Speaker Mtholephi Mthimkhulu MPL echoed Nkonyeni’s words, saying the office of the Speaker was perturbed by Steenhuisen’s remarks.

“It is common cause that when we embarked on a process of hosting the best World Cup ever, the Honourable Premier, Dr Zweli Mkhize, urged all members of the legislature to roll up their sleeves and proactively market this historic event, as well as KZN, to the people within our shores and beyond.

“To this end, the premier’s office drew up a provincial roster which included … the hosting of a gala dinner for football teams based in our province, a list of MPLs who were to be deployed at public viewing areas (PVAs) as well as the strategic stakeholders who were to be targeted at the stadiums.

“All these efforts by our members have received accolades from all stakeholders, in particular, the visiting countries, who have all complimented our country, and KZN in particular, for the manner in which we have gone about marketing our country,” Mthimkhulu said.

She said Steenhuisen had overlooked the positive aspects in his desire to score points.

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