It's been a very quiet Sunday, and time to read the newspapers with their excellant investigative journalists in this African democracy,
THE DIRTY COP was in the news on Friday in a South Johannesburg courtroom when Judge Meyer Joffe found Jackie Selebi, former national police commisioner, guilty of bribery and corruption. He could face 15 years in jail. How does a good man turn bad? Selebi had no police training but was a rising star in the ANC (African National Congress) and head of their youth wing. He had returned from exile and had a brilliant mind and a vision, but was incredible arrogant and verbally tactless.
Selebi succumed to bribes from the drugs mafia including Glenn Agliotti, who flaunted their friendship. They went shopping in expensive stores and told the salespeople to put Selebi's purchases on his tab. In November 2006 I was here and read the headline in the local Sunday Times ' Selebi and the cop Mafia'.
The National Union of Metalworkers is thinking of turning off the lights prior to The FIFA World Cup Final at Soccer City next Sunday. We have had strikes by shuttle bus drivers and under paid security gurads at some of the stadiums, but one thing that has been positive is POLICING. Fourty four thousand new cops were hired and locals can't believe how safe it is on the waterfront in Cape Town, the beaches in Durban, and around the stadiums and entertainment areas. The police and their new vehicles are very visible. Helicopters over the venues send live pictures to command centres if there is any build up of crowds or potential problems.
I mentioned earlier how I was robbed in broad daylight. Fortunately there has only been ONE incident of a tourist being injured. An American in Gautang, just off the Gautrain from O.R.Tambo Airport was robbed of his luggage on the way to his hotel. He was shot in the arm first. Four years ago I was talking about 100 possible tourist murders.
There was a full page advertisement in The Sunday Times from Bidvest www.bidvest.com, a financial giant, who also sponsor The Bidvest Wits of the P.S.L Premier Soccer League. The Clever Boys, the nickname of the club based at Witwatersrand University, say that the Greatest Team in the tournament are the men and women of the South African Police Service.' You do us proud and we salute you'.
Lots of news of public institutions buying expensive tickets for matches for their top people. Makhenkesi Stofile the Sports and Recreation Minister, who I met at Ft. Hare University in 1993 hasn't bought himself or others any tickets from his departmental funds.
That same year, when I was guest of the black Department of Education and Training I was outside Port Elizabeth at a township when young teenage boys were returning from a week of initiation in the nearby hills. They had been ritually circumcised by a witch doctor and a sharp assengi knife and sent into the hills with a blanket and caked with mud. They were returning in groups, hungry, cold but now men. Up to 300 teens die of bleeding or infection because of this practice each year. Mostly in Eastern Cape among the Xhosa or Zulus.
Even the working ladies in Hillbrow, the crime infested neighbourhood of Jo'burg, have been fair with their quickie international clients and claim not to have raised prices during the World Cup. South Africans have bonded together, balck and white are are more interested in Cristiano Ronaldo and Florent Maloudi than Jacob Zuma and the politicians. In fact it is his talented daughter, 24 year old Thuli Zuma who is making headlines with a solo stage show 'The Bucket Drum' at the National Festival of Arts in Grahamstown. Her soap opera sister Gugu plays Lesedi in the show Isidingo.