South Africa and the World Cup

Until now, no African country has hosted the World Cup, the Olympic Games, or any event of similar magnitude. Soon however, South Africa will be hosting the 2010 World part, because it is politically incorrect to say a country in "deep Africa" is not qualified to host the event and, in part, because what is taking place in South Africa has not been made public.

But the statistics speak for themselves:

source: Global Burden of Armed Violence Report. Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development.

And South Africa has the world's second-highest homicide rate:

source: Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, covering the period 1998 - 2000 (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention)

South Africa's population is just shy of the 49.9 million mark, so we are talking about around 49 000 murders per year in the country. In 2009, the United States had a population of 307 million - more than six times greater than South Africa's total population. Yet there were only 15 241 murders in the U.S. in 2009.

In graph form, per every 1000 people:

source: Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, covering the period 1998 - 2000 (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention)

But it gets worse. A 22-page United Christian Action draft report, Murder in South Africa, by Robert McCafferty, based on original source documents, government archives, the Central Statistics Service, Interpol, the South African Medical Research Council statistics, and many other sources reveals confusion amongst the crime data quoted by the various government departments.

Victims' surveys have consistently uncovered between 60% and 70% more crime than reported by official sources. Upwards of 50% of crime in many serious categories goes unreported.

While police crime statistics show that there were 21 683 murders in the year 2000, the Medical Research Council puts the figure at 32 482. The Department of Home Affairs quotes 30 068. This is a third more murders than reported by the SAPS, a discrepancy of more than 10 000 murders. How can various departments of the same government fail to agree on how many people were murdered in South Africa?

So, while the Democratic Alliance leaflet "Fight Crime" puts the average daily murder rate in South Africa at 55, the Medical Research Council's statistics claim that 89 murders are committed, on average, every day in South Africa. (more)

South Africa also has a terrible reputation for rape, too. Part of the problem is cultural - rape is socially accepted. Dr Rachel Jewkes, a senior scientist with the South African Medical Research Council, said:

"in South Africa you have a culture where men believe that they are sexually entitled to women. You don't get rape in a situation where you don't have massive gender inequalities. One of the key problems in this country is that people who commit rape don't think they are doing anything wrong."

According to the BBC, "out of the 24,892 rapes reported last year, only 1,797 resulted in successful convictions [...] it is a fact that a woman born in South Africa has a greater chance of being raped than learning how to read."

Baby rape is also a major problem:

"During a recent parliamentary debate on child abuse in South Africa, it was reported that there has been a 400% increase in the sexual violence against children over the past decade [...] Baby rape is not a new phenomenon in South African society, but it is becoming more common. One possible reason, say AIDS activists, is the myth, widespread in southern Africa, that sex with a child or baby will rid a man of HIV or Aids."

-- BBC, "Rape, Silent War on SA Women" 9 April 2002

So why is a country like this being awarded the honor of hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup?


UPDATE: April 10, 2010: South Africa's ANC government and ANC Youth League leader at odds over anthem calling for the killing of whites.

The ANC is the ruling political party in South Africa. The ANC Youth Leader, Julius Malema, recently recorded a song calling for the "killing of white farmers". In an effort to clean up the ANC's image before the World Cup, the song has been temporarily banned in South Africa. But the ANC has a history of promoting controversial songs like the one above.