Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Settling the Safety Issue Once and for All?

Interpol has been down to South Africa, poked around, checked the chatter on its listening posts and decided no tangible threats to the 2010 World Cup exist.

Well, that takes care of that, doesn't it? Imagine the international cops brushing their hands together and saying, "All done!"

"Nothing to see here! Move along!"

Here is a sort of epitome of hubris about security. A comprehensive, "hey, what could go wrong?" that in works of fiction would demand something ugly to prove the authorities wrong.

If you were the cops, wouldn't you give all this World Cup stuff a more careful, middling assessment? Along the lines of, "we like their plan; it looks good; big events can be unpredictable and we know they are working hard, and we are here to help, if needed."

Instead of the Interpol honcho telling journalists: "South Africa's planning covers everything. South African planning is above our expectations." (Emphasis added.)

Can anyone ever say a plan cover everything?

Of course not. Ask the security people at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Or those at Munich in 1972.

Terrorists can be cunning. Just because they haven't been active in South Africa, on some large scale ... doesn't mean it can't happen.

Then we have the harsh facts of South Africa's crime rate: It is No. 2 in the world both in murders per capita and total murders. (Trailing only Colombia in both stats.) Does regular one-on-one crime fall under South Africa's amazing, all-encompassing plan?

This is just a silly, scary story. It is organizations that believe it has every eventuality covered ... is one likely to get sloppy and open to mistakes. Just sayin'.

1 comment:

  1. I think that you are mixing two very different issues because security and crime in South Africa are certainly not related. The issue of security and protection against a possible international terrorist threat has been found to be low because we do not have the kind of political, religious or cultural divisions that many countries in the world have. Notwithstanding this it has been clearly announced that protective measures are in place in the unlikely event that some radical from elsewhere in the world should attempt to make his point in our country to gain international publicity.
    The issue of crime should not deter visitors for the World Cup or at any other time. Far-reaching measures have been taken for the specific event, but it is worthy of note is that the Indian Premier Cricket league and the Confederation football cup were hosted in South Africa without any incident of crime. Whilst crime is unacceptably high in our country, sadly it is mostly perpetrated by citizens against one another and seldom involves tourists.
    Every big city in the world has some degree of crime but visitors to Cape Town are unlikely to be a victim.