News24

UK SWC 'threat' article slammed

2010-04-06 19:10

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance on Tuesday condemned an article published in the British Daily Star newspaper under the headline "World Cup machete threat".

The article claims that "machete gangs (are) roaming the streets" of South Africa after AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche's murder, that a "civil war" could erupt, and that South Africa's hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup is under "threat", DA spokesperson Lindiwe Mazibuko said.

"The article opens by claiming that England fans could be 'caught up in a machete race war at the World Cup in South Africa', and goes on to state, as fact, that 'FIFA would be left with a total nightmare if civil war erupts', as if this is a scenario that could realistically play itself out," she said.

"It is difficult to see how this could be viewed as anything less than an unashamed attempt to turn British tourists off the idea of visiting South Africa.

"South Africa takes security of its citizens and tourists seriously and is fully confident about staging the biggest event in the world not just successfully but at a new standard of excellence."

Tabloid

Although the Daily Star was traditionally associated with sensationalist reporting, this particular report went far beyond mere embellishing of the facts.

"It simply makes them up as it goes along," Mazibuko said.

"These sorts of claims are self-evidently false to South Africans familiar with the local situation, but they create the real possibility that foreign readers, potential tourists, and even investors, will have their opinions on South Africa inalterably skewed.

"The Daily Star claims that a civil war in South Africa could threaten our World Cup, but the truth is that the most serious threat to our World Cup is inaccurate propaganda, dressed up as factual reporting, that frightens away tourists in their thousands," Mazibuko said.