“Stop thinking like a Kaffir”

Dr Irvin Khoza requested an overly reluctant senior sports journalist to stop thinking like a man conditioned to see himself as subordinate and inferior. That was necessary to say but it came out harshly to the extent that it required the toothless South African Human Rights Commission to borrow canines from the political parties.

I have for some time shied away from labeling the pessimists as racists. However, following the outburst of one journalist at a Beijing media briefing I’m now becoming converted to the Dr Irvin Khoza Church of the Native Optimists.

Here are my reasons:

Look, we successfully hosted the IRB Rugby World Cup with the whole world on our shores barely a year after the 1994 experiment and it was a cracker. By the way we also won it when we beat the All Blacks by a Joel Stransky drop goal.

We went on to host the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development with tens of heads of states as dignitaries when car-hijacking and housebreaking were at their peak and it was hailed as runaway success by those who have been to other similar conferences.

We then hosted the ICC Cricket World Cup where once again the whole world converged on our shores and there was nothing negative to write home about. Plus some games were played in Kenya where we (SAPS Special Task Force) provided VIP protection to the visiting teams and ours.

The million rand question today; Why are the naysayers as far as Canberra, Ontario, London and Beijing doubting our capacity to stage an event that even countries without a soccer tradition have successfully organised. Remember that the United States did not even have a soccer league when they hosted the 1994 spectacle.

Is it because the men and women behind it are a bunch of darkies who should be thinking like kaffirs? Are we suddenly forgetting that the same darkies staged the Africa Cup of Nations fresh from isolation and put together the winning bid for this world cup which some people want to see moved to another country?

PS. Someone said to me that the xenophobic attacks some few months ago have damaged our credibility and raised fears about whether we will be able to stage an inclusive World Cup. I raised it with her that Germany had xenophobia issues as well prior to staging the world cup and that the attacks in Deutschland were not an emotional flur-up but sustainable. I then asked her how authorities guaranteed the safety of tourists during the showpiece and she said that the German police knew the racists because they had compiled a list of them beforehand.

Interesting, they have a list of criminals but they don’t’ arrest but keep them in check to perform their immigration control activities (joking). But the point I raised with her was that if Germany with its skinheads and neo-Nazis could stage a successful one South Africa can do better since we don't have malignant xenophobia issues.

What did they do with the skinheads?’ I asked.

Like I said they knew them and could monitor them’ she responded

Maybe all they did was to grow their hairs since skinhead is not a condition but an option. Maybe they had hair but since their racism is in their hearts they were still there and battering Jews and darkies’, I protested.

What I discovered later was that during the German spectacle FIFA had a warning posted on its website informing soccer lovers of a darker skin of places to avoid. Well, with us it will only be Alexandra (where Khoza comes from) and East Rand I guess. These are areas that are not even going to host a game.

PPS. Plus I heard that police are compiling a Hooligan List just for South Africa, similar to the one Scotland Yard has with names and mug shots of their troublesome fans. Here it will notably be made up of Orlando Pirates stadium incinerators (ha-ha!)

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