Crime Busters of SA: farm murders 2001-2003
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- A Stuijt
- Retired South African medical journalist, ex-Sunday Times of Johannesburg.
Cullinan farm family wins in fierce fight with armed farm attackers, SABC interviews them but then refuses to broadcast it; Nelson Mandela’s former bodyguard, the experienced hostage negotiator Gert Barnard goes missing in NW province; Debbie Kannemeyer, 19, was tortured with cigarettes, her hair was cut off and taken away by an armed gang in Sasolburg; and Canadian political refugee Brandon Huntley gets a review of his political-asylum approval after the SA government intervened… Just another ‘normal crime’ day in South Africa.
Annelie Koekemoer writes from Cullinan on her Facebook page: Sat 10 April 2010:
“We were attacked this morning at 5am on our farm. We shot dead one attacker in the hallway and defended ourselves against another one with a hatchet. Two firearms were found with them. One attacker kept screaming "Mahlungu" and "Viva Malema". The SABC was here and interviewed us - but then later let us know that they couldn't broadcast it 'because they feared that this would increase the political tension'.
Thank our Heavenly Father for being with us so that we could fight back.' The Koekemoer family consists of dad Leon Johan, and the children Rudolph 6, Lionel, 14, Johan, 10. The story was confirmed on Radio Sonder Grense and Radio Pretoria.
Retired pres. Nelson Mandela’s former bodyguard Gert Barnard, 43, of Centurion, has been reported missing after he left from Fochville and never arrived at his rural destination in Vredefort. Police said he was expected at a friend’s house but never arrived. Barnard was a member of the SAPS VIP protection unit in Pretoria , protecting presidents Mandela and Mbeki, before becoming a hostage-negotiator or the unit for four years. As were many Afrikaner policemen, he also was ‘retired’ in 2004 and now is the operational manager of the private security company Tactical Support Unit in Centurion. His sister Elsa Booysen said the family has been looking for him for the past five days.
Booysen arrived at the Fochville house of his other sister Sandra Muller and they spent the entire day with their mother Mrs Martie Barnard. “He was very quiet. As if something was bothering him,” said Booysen. About 9am the next day he departed in his dark-grey Mazda Drifter bakkie. When Toe Mrs Booysen tried to phone him later that day his cellphone was turned off. And none of the SMS’s sent throughout the day have not been accepted. His wife Sonja said she’s heard nothing from him since Monday – and she’s been phoning hospitals in the area, without any results. Two days ago she finally reported him missing. “I am very worried. I need to find my husband urgently,’ she said.
Police said they have not located any signs of Mr Barnard or his bakkie. It’s unclear whether he was travelling for his business – he wasn’t on leave however. His employer Chris Beukes refused to discuss the case with Beeld newspaper.
April 9 2010 - Johan Brits reports from Sasolburg: Four armed black men tied up 19-year-old Debbie Kannemeyer, burnt her with cigarettes – and cut off some of her hair, taking it with them, reports constable Sellwane Legae.
She and her unnamed boyfriend, 29, were asleep in their smallholding cottage when four attackers tore off the burglar-bars and accosted the couple, taking them to seperate bedrooms. It’s not known why they found it necessary to torture the defenceless young woman. The men arrived in a white 1400-Nissan bakkie, which they used to load up a TV, playstation, the couple’s cellphones, a computer and jewellery. The vehicle was found in the nearby township Bophelong, said police.http://www.beeld.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Rowers-brand-vrou-sny-van-haar-hare-af-en-vat-dit-saam-20100409 http://ping.fm/5UtAt
April 09 2010 at 07:42AM Judgment is at hand for Brandon Huntley, the white South African refugee who was granted a safe haven in Canada last August because he had been frequently attacked and cursed for a “white dog" and "a settler" -- and stabbed seven times by black South Africans in his hometown of Mowbray near Cape Town -- only because he was white.
After receiving objections from the South African government to this ruling, the Canadian government this week appealed against Huntley being granted asylum and Judge Francois Lemieux had agreed to review the opposing arguments. He did not set a date for his findings.
- Huntley was already granted refugee status in Canada last August. The ruling caused an uproar in South Africa, with pro-black “human rights groups” slamming the decision and the ruling African National Congress party even calling the Canadian ruling “racist”.
The court heard at the appeal hearing that 113,000 news articles had been written worldwide about the case. Huntley's lawyer Rocco Galati argued that the South African government had interfered with Canada's judicial system by pressing immigration minister Jason Kenney. "A foreign government is interfering with our minister of immigration. This court must be seen as independent or it will have no legitimacy. The public needs to be able to see a reasonable perception of independence. This court is being used by the minister for his political ends." He then asked the court to request the minutes of any meetings between the immigration ministry and the South African government.
- The Toronto Sun reported that the immigration department claimed the case was under review “ for legitimate reasons. We were asked to see if there was a legal basis for a judicial review. We read it (the decision to grant refugee status) and they got it wrong," was the opinion of Bernard Kaplan, counsel for the ministry. This article was originally published on page 6 of Pretoria News on April 09, 2010 http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=13&art_id=vn20100409041531483C773253
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Senzo Tsekiso Wiseman Selepe: “ET not killed by black people alone…’ April 8 2010 2:28 PM Mail & Guardian comment : “I believe that ET was not killed by Black people alone as we claim, but white people were involved in this assassination of ET. People who want to see a blood zone out of SA, those who want to see the world cup hostered somewhere else than SA. This is a setup, 15 and 25 years killing ET, we need to wakeup, and move focus to somewhere else.” http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-04-05-terreblanche-killing-awb-vows-revenge.
The full might of the law must be allowed to take its full coarse against the perpetrators of ET the same way it has been allowed against the murderers of Chris Hani. Its unfortunate to learn that there are threats of revenge from some sections of the society. How many africans did the "boere" kill? you wanna talk about brutal killing, The mortal body of Ikopotseng Tiro was brutally blown into dust by the powerful explosives in Botwana, Joshia Manakale was tied and dragged to death behind a bakkie.. Laro Makamu on April 5, 2010, 9:02 am http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-04-05-terreblanche-killing-awb-vows-revenge.
I dont feel sorry for Terre'Blanche, his family and the entire Afrikaner society. Its high time whites recognise the existance of black people as the ONLY INDIGENIOUS CITIZES of this country. Who was there to cry for blacks when they were being fed to hungry lions by white farmers. Who was there to act on behalf of poor black women who were made to eat urinated food by young boys at Free State University. Black people are permanently subjected to all sort of racial discrimination by white farmers on a daily basis. We cannot be threatened by dead and racist organisations like AWB. If they want war they must bring it. Mzwakhe Mbuli on April 5, 2010, 9:05 am http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-04-05-terreblanche-killing-awb-vows-revenge.
well well/why stopping them from singing/let them sing/if we allow gays to wed why not allow the evil past to be brought to open/aint u demanding for the silly zanu pf malema's head/how do they want to revenge/we used to watch these farmers making citizen arrests to poor zombabweans running away from the brutal mugabe/ why didnt he pay these poor farm workers/thats what all the farmers are doing to the poor people coz they know if they report to police their story wont hold/and remember they were dealing with a convicted murderer as well/ t_madimani on April 5, 2010, 10:15 am http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-04-05-terreblanche-killing-awb-vows-revenge. (pictures below this article).
At the very moment of Terre’Blanche’s death the following message was posted:
Deni Monyama writes at 19:00 hours on April 3 2010 – the very moment of Terre’Blanche’s recorded death: the following: “I don’t understand why white people are busy complaining about Julius Malema song when Eugene Tereblanche is busy with his hate speech calling on the so called “True afrikaners to fight until their bitter end for their land’ and no one is saying a word about it” Deni Monyama: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1435549797&ref=mf . This was a particularly inappropriate comment for this time frame -- because right up to that point -- and before his death became known several hours later, the very last time Mr Terre’Blanche had been seen in public was in May 2009 when he appeared not very prominently amongst a group of men demonstrating against the gruesome torture-murders of two Free State farm women, the disabled mother and daughter Lotter in Odendaalsrust.The women’s genitals had been grotesquely mutilated with glass shards and one woman’s breasts were cut off while she was still alive. Terre’blanche had not made any speeches at this event, when Free State farmers protested against bail for two men who subsequently were found guilty of the women’s murders. http://censorbugbear-reports.blogspot.com/2009/04/odendaalsrust-law-court-scene-of-angry.html
Hatespeech events in run-up to the Terre’Blanche murder:
Late in February of 2010, a senior member of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC)—a socialist, racialist political party whose motto is "Africa only for the (black) Africans"—set up a page on the social networking site Facebook. For all to see were comments such as the following, written by one Ahmed El Saud:
"Kill the f-----g whites now!!! If you afraid for [sic] them, lets [sic] do it for you. In return, you can pay us after the job has been done... text us ... We are not afraid for [sic] the whites like your own people... its disgrace [sic] … he ask you and you dont [sic] want to... we will do it Mandela! [Sic]". [Kill whites’ Facebook page not ours – PAC, as reported by journalist Cedric Mboyisa, The [Johannesburg] Citizen, February 25, 2010]
Other messages matched the savagery of El Saud’s sentences, if not their syntax. One boasted of "an army of 3000 people ready to kill white people within a day if it were called upon to do so." Western Cape PAC chairman Anwar Adams, the responsible functionary, refused to remove the page.
The African National Congress (ANC) took a page out of the PAC’s Facebook. Days later, this post appeared on a Facebook page under the name of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema:
“‘You f-----g white pigs. Malema is our leader. He will kill [President Jacob] Zuma within the next six weeks. Look ahead, my fellow black people. We will then take our land, and every trespasser, namely white whores, we will rape them and rape them till the last breath is out. White kids will be burned, especially those in Pretoria and Vrystaat. Men will be tortured while I take a video clip and spread it on YouTube," read one post.
It continued: ‘Its [sic] true what Malema said, silently we shall kill them ... Police will stand together ... our leader will lead us to take our land over. Mandela will smile again.
White naaiers, we coming for you! Households will be broken into and families will be slaughtered.” posted Facebook, reported by journalist Cedric Mboyisa, The Citizen, March 21, 2010
This African-American man on the left calls himself Abdurrahman T.L. Nelson, a real estate broker from East Saint Louis Ill who started the Muslim Community Network group. He also posted calls on the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania website calling for the murder of all South African whites.
Black-racist sites haunt SA web with rabid anti-white hatespeech
Posted on http://Censorbugbear-reports.blogspot.com website - February 16 2010 -- The man on the right-hand-side of this group is Andile Mnxgitama, the organiser of the “Blackwash” group on Facebook. This site has now been deleted – after Censorbugbear-Reports described some of their postings.
When does the right to free speech deteriorate into a hate-mongering campaign in which people are even threatening to start a small race war against one of the most visible and defenceless minorities in South Africa? There are several South African Facebook sites such as “Blackwash’ with members openly threatening to come and visit the Afrikaner members of the Save Our Farmers site ‘with AKs’. This is well beyond just a mindless threat: More than 3,140 white farmers have already been murdered on South African farms since 1987 – often after hours of mutilation and torture - and primarily by young black male gangs whose members frequently are armed with illegal AK-47s. Yet despite numerous complaints to facebook management the site was still active on February 22
However new information from a well-placed source stated that while Ms Ngceni did a brief stint for them as an intern last year – she no longer works for them. click to read one of Pakama Ngceni’s co-authored Reuters articles
Ms Ngceni ( pictured left on her Facebook page) co-founded the Blackwash page together with a man called Ncebakazi Manzi (right) . click to read one of Pakama Ngceni’s Reuters articles and her facebook page link: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=559561448
Ms Ngceni wrote us -- in reply to our request for her to comment on whether her clearly anti-white racist bias would influence her neutrality as a journalist – by replying:
“I am not entirely sure about the purpose of your message (are you telling me about being disturbed by the content on the page? Are you worried about the state of biased (whatever that means) Reuters journalists in this country? Are you placing yourself as a custodian to bring the balance by launcing a crusade of sorts with my said employer? It could be one, all or none of the above. Whatever the reason, you have made it clear that you will take whatever action you deem fit to deal with this Blackwash facebook business. That is your prerogative. This, however, does not mean you are entitled to my comment on what you term to be a strange anomaly in my journalistic abilities.” I’ve now also challenged Ms Ngceni to write an article on Blackwash – submitting a more peaceful solution to try and solve the problem of “what to do with 3-million whites in South Africa”-- other than the final solution proffered on the Blackwash site – i.e. the “AK’ solution.
- Her brief stint as an intern at Reuters must have made this journalist aware of the Reuters’ journalistic code: which states: “Everything we do as Reuters journalists has to be independent, free from bias and executed with the utmost integrity. These are our core values and stem from the Reuters Trust Principles. As a real-time, competitive news service whose reputation rests on reliability, we also value accuracy, speed and exclusivity. The way in which we, as Reuters employees, live these values is governed by the Reuters Code of Conduct. That code, with a few notable exceptions that apply specifically to journalists, governs the behaviour of all Reuters employees and is essential reading. As journalists, however, we have additional responsibilities if we are to fulfil the highest aspirations of our profession – to search for and report the truth, fairly, honestly and unfailingly. “. http://handbook.reuters.com/index.php/Main_Page
The Blackwash groups belongs to the so-named Africanist and Africanisation movement – which clearly is totally opposed to presence of any whites in South Africa and thus also is clearly opposed to the ‘rainbow nation’ concept of the ruling African-National-Congress party; Blackwash -- as becomes clear on its own Facebook page -- rejects any integration with ‘whites’ in South Africa and instead want a South Africa which only allows black-African residents – describing Blackwash as:
- ‘A collective of blacks, by blacks and for blacks only! We stand for liberation of black people, who want to be liberated. This means amongst others self governance and equitable sharing of our natural resources. But it also means we need to find collective and democratic practices to define and arrive at our final destiny. We understand white supremacy to be at the very foundation of the world capitalist system. White supremacy organizes everyday racism, exploitation, women oppression and destruction of the life. You can’t fight white supremacy without fighting against patriarchy, capitalism, homophobia and self hate at the same time. We shall walk as we talk. We shall make our own mistakes; we shall learn and improve on our practice. Blackwash stands ultimately for the love of black people and the end of our suffering. We hope to oppress no one, but we shall not dialogue with forces which perpetrate our oppression. It’s a new day Vuka darkie…Coz 1994 changed fokol! We focus on South Africa as our immediate challenge, but we won’t stop there. We carry the spirit of Haiti’s slave revolt of 1884 in our souls and as an antidote to white supremacy.
“We believe what white supremacy has done to Haiti in the past 200 years is the story of black people the world over.Blackwash’s first project is a counter-culture initiative that will use unapologetic and vulgar T-Shirts to scream these truths from the margins. We scream that the honeymoon period of senseless t-shirts, music and other culture platforms is over. The Fuck project uses these accepted youth culture arenas to fight back.”
On the left is an an example of the t-shirt propaganda project launched by Ms Ngceni: http://www.artsreview.co.za/fashion/2009/03/19/fuck-the-rainbow-nation-coz-94-changed-fokol-blackwash/
Co-founder Manzi also belongs to the Social Movement Against Racist Tendencies which describes itself as “a social movement to unite Africans, Blacks in particular against rising acts of racism at work place, communities and the country generally. Of late, racists are slowly but surely diminishing our hard earned freedom by dictating terms and opposing anything that benefits our people. They don't observe or attend national days, they feed our parents with urinated food in the Free State, they build toilets without walls in the Western Cape, they openly fly, sell and buy the old apartheid flag. For the sake of our children and our country, let's rise up against racists. We are just tolerated by racists and that's why the treat us like guests in our own country, this country belongs to us and we will never surrender it to racists! NEVER! We dare not fail! Please join us and request your colleagues at work, social circles to join this movement to cut racists collectively into pieces! http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620092455#!/group.php?gid=257954223930&ref=mf http://www.smartsa.org.za
Among the Blackwash members was/is a rabid anti-white public orator, Mr Andile Mnxingtama, who is planning to hold another one of his many anti-white speeches this Saturday in Newtown, purportedly to discuss the book ‘White revolutionaries as missionaries’ at the Xarra bookstore at 2pm February 27 2010. He is promoting a book containing his ‘essays’ on this subject.
for background on the very real dangers of hatespeech in South Africa read: Hatespeech against SA whites is often deadly
Far less rabid sites such as the Black People Network have a much more positive approach: posting reinforcing and positive information about for instance available jobs; bursary projects and anti-TB campaigns. However the anti-white sentiments also are strong on this ‘more positive’ page, with for instance member Isaac Goxa writing: “we put our faith in a system that awards "do-nothing" white CEOs with millions as their companies collapse and provoke a global crisis. We fund the privprivateisatioan of essential services with public money and favour cheap goods discounted by the loss of our jobs. We sign up for wars in which capitalism makes a killing (Iraqi and most of african Civil wars).Isn't it time that we robustly advance the socialist agenda? Is capitalism failing the black majority in South Africa?” And its member Tara Thomas also recommended joining the Revolution against the ANC – writing: “It is high time that the ruling party receive a challenge from black middle class that refuses to allow exploitation of the poor. It is now obvious that the ruling party leaders are about self enrichment through business funded by tax payers money. The education and health systems of this country are now worse than ever before. Crime is destroying our image in the globe. Recent sexual involvement of President Zuma has thrown the office of the president and our country's reputation into a deep and ugly situation. The black middle class of this country, working together with all races, must stand up against poor people's exploitation and fight to get government delivering to the people not the rich few. Join us and spread the word!”
Bring my AK…
Blackwash’ facebook credo however was far less positive – and frequently translates itself into often rather vicious anti-white hatespeech. It is known that Facebook has received numerous complaints about their rabid racism: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658550970&ref=mf .
And – very similar to present Jacob Zuma’s fondness for belting out the song’ bring me my machinegun’ at the oddest moments – some Blackwash members also threaten whites with ‘AKs’ -- for instance Yosi Nbane wrote:
- ‘We all need to join these racist site(s) and tell them they can’t save themselves from an AK.’ (referring to the Save Our Farmers site.)
The Save our Farmers site was launched to highlight the fact that South African’s food-security now is being greatly threatened by the continuing destruction of South African food-producers. It is now estimated that because the countryside has become so dangerous for farming; less than 20-thousand of the original 85-thousand white farmers from 1994 still are food-cropping – and that they now only use less than one percent of the ENTIRE South African land-surface to produce staple-foods for more than 50million residents. Up to 1994 about five to 6 percent of the entire land-surface was used for food-cropping. (source: CIA World Factbook). More than 1,2-million farm workers and their families have also lost their livelihoods and their homes on the farms since 1994 in the ANC-regime’s ongoing campaign to alienate white farmers from their private land-ownership rights and replace white farmers with black South Africans.
Friday, 09 April 2010 “Business is advised that an important shift is occurring in South Africa, with significantly higher political risk in the short- and medium-term. The vulnerable socio-political trust on which South Africa’s 1994 political settlement was based, is disintegrating across the northern part of the country, including its economic heartland centred around Johannesburg”.
“ Inter-group tensions have increased significantly in recent weeks as a result of perceived incitements by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to ‘shoot and kill’ members of the Afrikaner ethnic group. Report by Dr Dan Roodt of Pro-Afrikaans Action Group - also: call by ANC to get more rights for rural people
In the past months, a new consensus has been forming among Afrikaners of all political persuasions that the ANC government is unable to protect its citizens and that it has adopted an agenda hostile towards minority groups. These views are increasingly shared by members of the English-speaking white community, Asians and Coloureds. It is highly unlikely that the government will be able to gain the trust of northern Afrikaners in the medium term.
On 3 April 2010, the leader of the influential ANC Youth League, Julius Malema, expressed support for Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe’s land nationalisation and redistribution policies and their application in South Africa. Whilst in Zimbabwe, Malema defiantly (again) sang an anti-apartheid resistance anthem, Kill the Boer (Kill the Afrikaner / farmer), which was recently ruled unlawful by the High Court of South Africa because of its incitement to violence. view video
On the same day, 3 April, two black farm workers brutally murdered Eugene Terre’Blanche, a prominent figure on the right-wing fringes of Afrikaner politics, on his farm in Ventersdorp, some 150 km west of Johannesburg. Terre’Blanche’s murder is one of about 3,000 committed against predominantly Afrikaner farmers since South Africa’s political transition in 1994. Read our list of names of murdered farmers
Growing inter-group tensions
More assertive forms of minority politics are possible. After enduring an explosive increase in murders – including that of more than 3,000 farmers – armed robberies and rapes since 1994, most Afrikaners in the country’s north are exasperated at their political marginalisation and growing physical vulnerability. Terre’Blanche’s murder has been a catalyst for the release of pent-up frustrations among Afrikaners, even though most rejected his particular political views.
A few isolated incidents of political violence by small groups or individuals are possible in the run-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Such violence is likely to be aimed at symbolic targets or ANC politicians and not directly at international business.
However, the risk of serious inter-group tensions and confrontations will be high in the next few years. Such tensions would tend to be localised and could periodically disrupt labour relations and business operations, for example in mining, manufacturing and agriculture.
During the past years, thousands of socio-economic protests against the ANC government’s lack of service delivery have occurred in black urban areas. Xenophobic violence by indigenous black communities against black immigrants has also occurred. Pressure on the ANC government from its poorer constituencies is likely to continue, fueling economic populism and the scapegoating of minorities by some ANC factions.
Increased political and reputational risk for business
“Cases of self-enrichment by prominent decision-makers to compensate for increased political fluidity are likely to increase. Several cases have already occurred of serious favouritism or corruption by ANC decision-makers in the awarding of contracts, positions, loans and concessions.
Pressure groups may also act against businesses that are too close to the ANC…
Foreign business will encounter higher reputational risk in the next few years. Vigorous media oversight can be expected and business is advised to conduct due diligence of partners and transactions. Pressure groups may also act against businesses that are too close to the ANC for perceived infringements of corporate social responsibility to minority communities.
The ANC has nationalised mineral and water rights and a clear shift to economic populism and policies of land nationalisation is likely to occur in the next five years. Business is advised that a renegotiation of contracts, populist mobilisation and demonstrations, and threats of nationalisation as a bargaining strategy are possible during this time period.
SA Reporter article URL http://sareporter.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1230&Itemid=39
‘There has never been a successful attack against the World Cup…’
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said this when asked to comment on an online magazine article that said “how beautiful” it would be if a bomb exploded at the US-England game June 12 in the South African city of Rustenburg. Valcke’s quote was reported in The Chronicle
Valcke said these (threats) appeared to come from a militant online magazine called “Yearners for Paradise,” which are not the usual sites used by al-Qaida and other groups to make threats. “Al- Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb” is said to have posted on a militant Web site. This group has been linked to a number of attacks in North Africa and has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union. In the article, the author says “he is not a spokesman for al-Qaida” however. “FIFA will not comment on any specific potential threats to the 2010 FIFA World Cup,” soccer’s governing body also said in a statement. “Such matters will be dealt with together with the relevant security authorities and will not be made public.” The threat has made world headlines today.
Last month Interpol, the global police organization, said it will mount its largest-ever operation at this year’s tournament. The SAPS will have 44,000 dedicated police officers patrolling the event. Our previous report: ”Terrorist threat against WC2010 is very real” - SA Institute for Race Relations
SAPS visit to Lyon, France Interpol headquarters 24 April 2008:
Picture from Interpol visit to Lyons France: 24 April 2008: With INTERPOL providing security support for the Football World Cup, these four South African officers – pictured with INTERPOL Executive Director of Police Services Jean-Michel Louboutin (centre) during their two-day visit in Lyon, France – have been liaising with INTERPOL’s Major Events Support Unit, which assists member countries in preparing and co-ordinating security arrangements for major international events, notably by deploying INTERPOL Major Events Support Teams (IMESTs). The officers are were briefed on INTERPOL’s front-line police tools and updated on assistance available from the General Secretariat, including access to its global databases for fingerprints and DNA, INTERPOL’s analytical unit and support from specialised crime areas such as drugs and human trafficking.
500,000 World Cup tickets unsold, empty stadiums loom
Meanwhile Gerald Imray reports in The Chronicle that the SA organisers are urging fans to "go buy now" at the eleven World Cup ticketing centers and at supermarkets and banks. Either the Champions League or the Europa League or the club league or the cups." They say 500,000 tickets are unsold and fear "tragic" empty stadiums at soccer's showcase event. FIFA said Friday the tickets would go on sale over the counter to the general public in South Africa from April 15. Organizers will then have less than two months to sell nearly a quarter of the tournament's total match tickets to avoid empty seats.
Italy alerted to terror threat:
Reigning champion Italy has also been alerted about a possible terror threat to it during this year’s FIFA World Cup, an official at the country’s soccer association said Friday. Italy’s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on his Facebook page “the world wouldn’t tolerate another Munich,” in reference to the hostage taking and murder of members of the Israeli Olympic team in 1972. Italy’s Interior Minister Roberto Maroni spoke with soccer association President Giancarlo Abete to discuss the threat to the event, which starts June 11 in South Africa, said a spokesman, who declined to provide further details.
The news comes two days after CBS News’ World Watch published a report (left) claiming a North African group affiliated to al-Qaida is targeting sport’s most watched event, and specifically England’s match-up with the United States on June 12. The report also said Italy, France and Germany were among the teams targeted.
The U.S. State Department said “appropriate precautions” were being taken to protect the month-long tournament. England’s Football Association and Britain’s Home Office declined to comment on the report.
"Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb" said in the statement, published by CBS News, an attack on the England and U.S. game would claim the lives of “dozens and hundreds.”
“How amazing could the match United States vs. Britain be when broadcasted live on air at a stadium packed with spectators when the sound of an explosion rumbles through the stands,” “al- Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb” is said to have posted on a militant Web site. The group has been linked to a number of attacks in North Africa and has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.
South African officials said each team will be provided with the same level of security during their stays in the country. Additional security costs will have to be met by individual teams.
www.bloombergnews.com and The Associated Press contributed.04/09/2010 http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/soc/6951803.html