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South Africa’s Human Rights Violations in the Name of the World Cup

South Africa’s Human Rights Violations in the Name of the World Cup

While soccer fans around the world cheer on their teams and blow their vuvuzelas, human rights are being violated in South Africa.

Amnesty International reports that there has been an increase in police brutality towards street traders, the homeless, refugees and migrants living in townships, or slums. In order to present a clean and beautiful host nation to the world, police have attempted to remove the ugly or unpleasant aspects of the country by raiding and destroying informal housing. Such actions are in violation of South African law that prohibits forced eviction.

In addition, police have removed homeless people and street vendors from areas around the World Cup venues. Penalties for violations include fines of up to Rand 10,000 (US$1,300) as well as up to six months in jail.

Amnesty points out:

Some temporary employment opportunities appear to have been created in the preparations for the World Cup and there may be a longer-term benefit from the development of improved urban public transport infrastructure.

However, protesters from poor communities have continued to raise concerns that the majority of South Africans are still being excluded from the benefits of hosting the World Cup.

The requirements under the “FIFA by-laws” which create extensive exclusion zones for informal economic activity are seen as particularly prejudicial in the context of a country where a large group of South Africans are totally reliant on the informal sector economy for their survival.

The next World Cup in 2014 will be hosted by Brazil, a country that also suffers from poverty and has a huge informal sector. Will the government “clean up” the country to present a positive image at the expense of its citizens? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: Impoverished citizens are not eyesores, and their rights need not be violated in order to host the World Cup.

 

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5:14AM PDT on Jun 27, 2010

To give a good example of what is happening: "Athlone Stadium" in Cape Town was going to be upgraded!
Unfortunately when Fifa came to inspect this, they said "no" "no" this is slapbang in between the slums and therefore would not look good to the tourists or on TV.
In other words, the whole new Cape Town stadion that was built to the tune of several billion SARand, to the detriment of the people lioving in Cape Town, had to be rpresented to the world!
The two Dutch girls that had a tiny Bavaria Beer logo on their outfit, where dragged before court and out on bail to the tune of R10.000 each.
Let me assure you Americans, lots of murderers get out on bail for R1000. Sick, isn't it!
All that is happening against the poor traders, slumdwellers etc. was instigated by FIFA!
Apart from this, 90% of all monies made during the World Cup, goes straight into the FIFa coffers!
Especially Mr. Sepp Blatter.
During the world cup, they live in the most expensive restaurants, had to have special toilets installed (in other words, all the regular and quite excellent toilets, were ripped out), they eat the most expensive imported caviar imported German expensive foods, the most expensive French wines, etc.!
There was a joke in one of the dailies that had Sepp Blatter sitting at Zuma's desk, counting his millions while Zyuma tapped him on the shoulder and said: Now that SA is out of the World Cup, can I start ruling the country again, please!
Look, make no mistake, it is one of the be

3:15PM PDT on Jun 25, 2010

Then, I will have to say I am in.
Its so sad that fewer countrys if not, non of them really embrase the law, without violating human rights.
My country is master on that issue.....sadly

12:20AM PDT on Jun 24, 2010

Laws in South Africa.... Ha!! That is a Joke !!! They are only there to be broken .....

What other government in the world is made up of people who have been involved in corruption, are murderers, terrorists, extortionists, bigamists, have no formal schooling...

If you fit this description, you have the right credentials.... !!!

6:13AM PDT on Jun 23, 2010

If somebody tried to put up that kind of "informal" housing that the author seem so darned fond of here in the United States, she'd be screaming bloody murder. There is nothing inherently wonderful or great about a substandard slum, and the more of them that can be removed the better.

The same with an "informal" economy. All that means is, something that is not under the regulation and control of Big Government, which is another thing that I think that the author would decry if it happened in the US on any significant scale. (Oh, and also taxation ... I forgot to mention taxation. What do you want to bet that the government collects zippo in taxes from that "sector" of the "economy"?)

It's simply a matter of following laws. When a whole lot of people from many different cultures from all over the world are brought together in a relatively small space for such an event, the ONLY way they can all get along is by agreeing to all living under an agreed-to set of rules and laws. That is utterly necessary for such an event to take place. This means that the environment in which the event takes place MUST be under control of the authorities of the host nation. Formal rules. No "informal" this and "informal" that. The likelihood of trouble under those informal circumstances simply escalates too quickly.

3:06AM PDT on Jun 23, 2010

Yesterday at the gym, I watched a match between North Korea against, I think, Portugal; I wasn't interested enough to be sure. I hoped that the North Koreans would win, not because I'm saying "Let's hear it for North Korea!" but because could you imagine the reception they would receive back home had they lost? Think about it. Think about what happened to Iraqi team members when they lost a match under Saddam.
Not that FIFA could give a damn.

12:12PM PDT on Jun 22, 2010

Hay if I rember rightly so did China for the Olympics.
Canada is dping simmillar for the G20 in Tronto& G8 in the Musskokas in the name of security.
When I was a kid I could watch Charles DeGall in prossion along Rotten Row without all this to-do. Now days let's proctect the dignetries and foget the little people, poor unprovigliged etc, etc.

11:18AM PDT on Jun 22, 2010

I think for myself that all world events, be them mervellous, tragic and even sporting ones...they all keep us together for absolutely fantastic moments , which I personally would want to memorize them forever in my heart, because they unit all of us in a strong sentiment...shared with a hard and so beautiful sentiment!!! This feeling is one wahich it is certainly being spreaded on this World Cup...don't you agree, please?? Lovely children, most of them very very poor...are supposed to have an experience not bad, no,no!! A good experience of healthy life, friendship! The worst it would be stay apart...again and again! I hope our sister Africa get much happiness and all she needs!!!We will be there for her, mama Africa and her children!

11:17AM PDT on Jun 22, 2010

I think for myself that all world events, be them mervellous, tragic and even sporting ones...they all keep us together for absolutely fantastic moments , which I personally would want to memorize them forever in my heart, because they unit all of us in a strong sentiment...shared with a hard and so beautiful sentiment!!! This feeling is one wahich it is certainly being spreaded on this World Cup...don't you agree, please?? Lovely children, most of them very very poor...are supposed to have an experience not bad, no,no!! A good experience of healthy life, friendship! The worst it would be stay apart...again and again! I hope our sister Africa get much happiness and all she needs!!!We will be there for her, mama Africa and her children!

3:44AM PDT on Jun 22, 2010

I'm South African and while I CERTAINLY DON'T agree with what's going on (and admittedly was unaware) there has been a lot of pressure from the organisers for us to meet "first world" standards. Therein lies the problem, I believe. We cannot only lat the blame at the door of South Africa, but we must also look to the (unrealistic) expectations of others as to how such an even should occur in an African setting. This is indicative of so many other instances of the "developed world" imposing their expectations on the Africa et al. in order for us to play catch up. In the end we only shoot ourselves in the foot by, once again, living up to the stereotypical images of African countries. We're caught in a double bind which we cannot win, if we are measured by "1st world standards": On one hand we're gross and dirty and unsafe and on the other we're human rights violaters. The bottom line is that we cannot function within the international "1st world" arena because we are disqualified from the get-go by the impossible standards of a community that will not take us as we are. We're (or our police in anycase) are bearing the brunt here for the organiser's lack of willingness to accomodate us and to make alternatives for the "unsightly" BUT VERY REAL humanity that the rest of the world would rather not see. Poverty is not pretty, but it's our reality and let's not pretend that the rest of the world is not implicated in wanting not to see.

1:51AM PDT on Jun 22, 2010

Recently I read Vienna "cleaned up" its streets from beggars for summer to don't bother tourists. This is a global hypocrisy problem. Most people don't want to see bad stuff. Quick solution - make the bad stuff invisible....

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Colleen H. Colleen H. is an Online Campaigner with Care2 and a recent transplant to San Francisco from the East... more
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