It’s been weeks since we discovered that we paid “a bribe” to host the 2010 soccer World Cup that cost us $10-million.
For a few days South Africans were livid. But then we figured that $10-million is loose change compared to what Russia and Qatar paid for not having a Mandela.
Yes, a “bribe” of $1- million (about R120-million at current exchange rates) means little, considering it cost us some billions to host the bloody spectacle all for Fifa to walk away with $3-billion in profit.
Not bad for a not-for-profit-organisation run by a dickless bald man
What a con
Our outrage meter is understandably overstretched – if you read last Sunday’s papers you’ll know what I mean. Why has this alleged bribe been buried? Where is the enduring outrage that has made Nkandla synonymous with corruption? Where are the protests? Why is no one burning down Soccer City, or the weeds in the Mbombela stadium in Nelspruit?
Why don’t you care about the $10-million dollars that went to Jamaica?
I’d bet if I told you deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa’s McDonald’s was awarded a tender to service the e-toll granaries you’d be toyi-toying like Western Cape premier Helen Zille facing up to Marius Fransman.
Admittedly, the soccer World Cup was a sweet aphrodisiac while it lasted, but I think we can all accept that we would all felt better had it been a straight laxative instead.
Imagine: the poor who had moved to the cities in the 2000s were forcibly removed from their homes to make way for this World Cup, even schools were demolished to make way for the football festival. Business boomed only for tenderpreneurs and those corrupt enough to be within the inner circle of construction, logistics and hospitality.
The rest of us ordinary idiots were just swept away by the euphoria manufactured by big business making big money. By the time we realised we were being conned, we were too busy moaning about it to actually do anything about it.
And now, that this “bribe” has come to light, how have we chosen to deal with it?
Our sports and recreation minister Fikile Mbalula asked former members of the local organising committee who might have information about the bribe, not to talk to anyone about the issue except the government (which stands accused of paying the bribe).
I’m trying to understand the wisdom behind this move. And Mr Mbalula, I understand your right to stand up to irritating white liberals like Adrian Basson who take the piss – but damn – you really think we’d confuse yours for Kool-Aid?
And so, we were duped into thinking the World Cup would do anything for us. We were told it would create jobs and improve our economy; if you count the temporary hacks with the construction mafia and child trafficking. But then the stadiums got built and the children grew up. And nobody lived happily ever after. Well, except maybe for some nameless, faceless football administrators.
Now we are told that we actually paid a bribe (“like Africans do”) to host a tournament for which we were made to feel unworthy of anyway, bowing and scraping to the whims of Fifa for years. So our precarious sense of self worth is shattered again. I mean we can’t exactly boast about the World Cup with a straight face anymore, now can we?
Will they next tell us the World Cup was actually held in Germany and what we witnessed was a hologram?
We can’t get any of money back. And the cartels that made their money have moved on to new scams. We can’t get the government to admit it lied to us about the benefits. Its officials have moved on to new lies. The world could care a fuck about us the moment Madiba died, so we can’t expect them to come to the rescue.
But this bribe story. It gives all of us with since humiliated, disempowered by the great World Cup scam to actually get something back.
If we can get the bastards who authorised the bribe behind bars, it might just make all worth it.
Abu O’Well is a satirist and an inciteful contributor to The Daily Vox. Sometimes he is teasing; sometimes he’s not.
– Featured image: Flickr