Friday, July 9, 2010

South Africa's criminals wait World Cup out on the bench

Only 172 cases have come to the World Cup courts, the noise of the gavels no match for the vuvuzelas. The scorecard, as tallied by the Justice Ministry through July 5, reads: 104 convictions, 7 acquittals, 28 withdrawn or dismissed, 33 pending.
The World Cup case that drew the most attention was hardly a sin that would startle the squeamish. Two Dutch women were accused of illegal advertising after they entered a stadium wearing orange mini-dresses and leading about 30 other young females clad exactly the same. At the hemline, visible at the upper thigh, was the small purple logo of the Bavaria Brewery.

SHOOT: So let's see this level of no nonsense policing all the time.
clipped from

JOHANNESBURG — It has been small stuff, mostly. A Swiss man threw a glass of whisky at a Dutch camera crew. A homeless South African stole a blanket from a tourist’s unlocked minivan. A friend of Paris Hilton’s was caught with a marijuana cigarette. A hotel’s cleaning crew helped themselves to underwear belonging to the English soccer team.

A cataclysmic wave of violent crime in South Africa, the fear of so many World Cup killjoys, has simply not occurred. No wave, barely a ripple. The criminals have put in a more indifferent showing than even the French players.

“With increased police activity everywhere, the criminals have been afraid to come out,” said a police spokesman, Col. Eugene Opperman, allowing that lawbreakers may simply have forgone their misdeeds to watch the games.

By “everywhere,” he meant places tourists were likely to go: the stadiums, the nightclubs, the upscale malls — the focus of 44,000 police officers.

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