Wednesday, February 3, 2010

'Greed Killing Our World Cup'

Yikes. The columnists at the Johannesburg Times aren't shy about criticizing events inside their own nation, and bravo for that. That's what a good and responsible media outlet does.

In this column, Peter Delmar is good and convinced the country is gearing up for some intensive price-gouging and, in the process, is scaring off fans from around the world. And especially from Europe, where enthusiasts are thought to have money and be willing to spend it.

If you didn't follow the link, here is some of his choice stuff:

He says most South Africans are "jostling with their snout in the trough to milk fans, who are all supposedly as rich as Croesus, for six weeks or so. And now their chickens are coming home to roost. We've realised with a nasty shock that even the Germans, the richest soccer fans in the world, can't afford us.

"Thanks to those who're dead set on bleeding this soccer tournament dry, we're going to be stuck with half-empty stadiums, half-empty aircraft, half-empty rooms and a mountain of unsold Chinese sweatshop-manufactured Zakumis that an ANC MP got the contract for.

"And the local organising committee didn't see this coming? Like no one told them about the worldwide economic meltdown?"

Pretty tough stuff. And the column was filed a day before the news story about a half-dozen airlines being investigated on suspicion of colluding to fix prices (high, of course) for travel during the World Cup.

Read about that one here.

And then there is the daily Jacob Zuma stuff. This time around the country's president admits, in a statement, he fathered his 20th (or so) child out of wedlock, insists it says nothing about the dangerous of "unprotected sex" in an AIDS-ravaged country ... and seems to suggest that by publicizing child's mother's name that the South African media could be in some trouble.

That sounds like a threat, actually. The fault is the Johannesburg Times reporting on the life of the country's president ... not the president's lack of good judgment. Yeah. Right.

Not a pretty picture down there, at the moment.

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