Today's Big Stories

Under the spotlight: Fifa's multi-million dollar corruption-linked arrests

Image: AFP

Under the spotlight: Fifa's multi-million dollar corruption-linked arrests

In Zurich, six top Fifa officials have been arrested by police as part of an operation run by the FBI in the US. There have long been claims that Fifa is corrupt and that its leadership – headed by Sepp Blatter – has been making millions out of football. Blatter and his leadership have always denied the claims. EWN Sports Editor, Jean Smyth:

It's a hugely significant day for FIFA and sports today. There is a 47 count envelope which was delivered against FIFA which included charges in racketeering and fraud to the tune of $150 million around FIFA games. The Swiss government have also started their investigation, specifically related to the 2018 and 2022 allocations, investigating criminal investigations in money laundering.

British investigative journalist Andrew Jennings has spent much of his life investigating Fifa and has made several claims against the organization:

Massive, I gave them a lot of the evidence, because I'm an investigative reporter and I gave them to the FBI. The British government and the South African government didn't want to pursue them, so I gave the evidence to the FBI. It's been seven years and they've been digging in. Just because Sepp Blatter has not been arrested today, doesn't mean he's not going to be! This is the kind of shake up that football needs, a re-structuring is needed - to hell with Fifa.

Tourism industry on zero consultation over new visa regulations

A series of comments on Tuesday made by the Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni that his department is still going to bring in its new visa regime that will see people travelling with children having to provide their unabridged birth certificates and with people coming here also having to get a biometric visa. CEO of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, Mmatšatši Ramawela:

These new regulations are big worry and it's been like that for the last six/eight months. When the announcement was made last July, we were concerned about how it would affect tourists coming into South Africa, with India and China being very big contributors in this regard.

Call for 'one person, one grave' in the face of grave shortage in SA cities

A comment from the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities on Tuesday that it will try to stop local councils from using graves for more than one person. Chairperson of the Commission, Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva:

We believe in 'one person, one grave' and we believe this is a right and we also believe that is should only be family members in one grave. If the grave has to be re-used, then it should be use by one family. We realise there's a shortage of graves in urban areas and the Metros and we're saying that the Metros should do the right thing and consult the families before meddling with the graves.

Call for Cuban engineers to be dropped by FS government

The South African Institution of Civil Engineers (SAICE) says it is unhappy that Cuban engineers are now being employed by the Free State provincial government. CEO of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE), Manglin Pillay:

The issue here is the under-utilisation of South African engineers. We've got world-class engineers here, world-class training and world-class infrastructure. We have quite a few engineers that have found themselves being relieved of their contracts - why not employ them?

Swazi solidarity movement makes call that Chiefs+Pirates decline game invite

The Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) has asked the football teams Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates to pull out of the King's Cup soccer tournament in Swaziland, saying that they shouldn’t play in a country that doesn’t respect human rights. Spokesperson for the SSN, Lucky Lukhele:

The reason why we are saying they shouldn't play there is because of the human rights record in Swaziland. The King has also commissioned that these teams play in a cup that is not even in the Fifa calendar. It is important that these two giant soccer teams not play in these games to protect their rich history.

JMPD to make internal investigation over seizure of journalist cameras

In Joburg on Tuesday, an altercation between an eNCA cameraman and a Metro police officer was caught on camera as officers tried to arrest the cameraman who filmed them arresting someone for drunken driving. JMPD Spokesperson, Superintendent Edna Mamonyane:

We always try to say to our officers that you don't have worry about the cameras around them; it's their job to worry about fining people. We've asked the journalists in question for their details so that internal affairs in JMPD can go forward with this, especially after viewing footage from the security cameras in the street.

Policing terminology conflation: 'protest' vs 'incident'

A claim this morning from the University of Johannesburg's (UJ) South African Research Chair in Social Change, Professor Peter Alexander that police are not properly interpreting the figures for what are called 'protest incidents'. Senior Research Assistant at UJ's South African Research Chair in Social Change, Boitumelo Maruping:

Essentially, the database that we would be working on would record the incidents and these incidents are not necessarily protests as they range from soccer games, imbizos and other gatherings. Given that there seems to be - particularly in the media - conflation between incidents and protests, so the number of actual protests might actually be higher than it is.

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