Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: SoccerInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  Sports e-mail alerts  |  RSS

South African Safety

Clifton Broumand has attended every World Cup since 1982, a total of 82 matches over eight tournaments. As a fan who has navigated countless stadiums, taken late-night trains and rushed around unfamiliar cities, he has never had a major safety concern. But as the 2010 event in South Africa approaches, Broumand offers this cautionary tale from his experience at the recent Confederations Cup.

"On the evening of the final in Johannesburg, my friend and I were walking back to our car and three males attempted to rob us at knife point," said Broumand, 51, who has lived in the Washington area for 27 years and serves as a referee in local amateur leagues. "We got out of that by yelling. Later that morning while I was sleeping at my B&B, my bungalow was broken into and I was assaulted, tied up, gagged and all of my possessions were stolen."

Confronted by intruders with a gun and knife, he said he lost a laptop computer, camera, two cell phones, cash, passport, shoes and all of his clothes -- except for the item used to cover his mouth. The incident occurred in an area well north of Johannesburg, seemingly safe for tourists, he said.

You'll want to keep reading this thread.....

He said numerous police officers arrived at the scene, in large part, according to the B&B owner, because he was a foreigner who had been victimized. South African citizens were eager to assist him in a time of need.

"I had no other problems before or after the other [six] games that I attended. The people are extraordinarily nice. They offered me money and said, 'Take it! Take it! We are so sorry.' It's a great place, a great country. I will go back. It's just there is a small amount of people who will take advantage of the situation" with the World Cup and hundreds of thousands of visitors in the country.

Broumand borrowed money from a friend to buy new clothes and received an emergency passport before returning home to Washington this week.

"People need to know what to expect," he said. "I now have first-hand experience. I might've been the only victim of a violent crime the whole tournament, but that doesn't make me feel any better."

His message to those thousands of supporters who will be joining him in South Africa next year: "This will be the most challenging [of any World Cup] in regard to safety and security. You have to be exceptionally cautious."

By Steve Goff  |  July 2, 2009; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Confederations Cup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Freedom Updates
Next: Bradley Speaks

Comments

Not the first story I've heard from people who traveled to the Confederations Cup.

The second reason why I'm not going next year. (first is I can't afford it).

I am all ready making plans to attend 2014 in Brazil, a can't miss tournament.

Posted by: adamsunited | July 2, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Steve, will you post the forthcoming letter from South Africa's Tourism Bureau?

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 2, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Goff -- Maybe you could host a dinner with DC City Councilmembers and Fenty Administration. I bet we could scrounge up funds to send stadium advocates to the "access" event.....

Posted by: fischy | July 2, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

South Africa is a dangerous place, maybe more dangerous than DC and Baltimore put together. Or at least averaged.

I'm saving up for 2014. Not that Brazil is much better.

Posted by: uac1530 | July 2, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Fischy-

I got pissed off just by reading the name, "Fenty". That bastard.

Posted by: redskinsux | July 2, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Gotta say, I lived in Brazil for 6 months. It will NOT be better than South Africa in this respect (crime). There is, sadly, still tremendous poverty in Brazil. That poverty acts as a catalyst for a lot of crime, both petty and more dangerous.

Posted by: TwinCity | July 2, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Just sad. I really hate the negative prognosticating that this World Cup will be moved due to planning and safety concerns... but I cannot say with a straight face that South Africa is a safe place.

Let's just hope that FIFA and the government of SA can make the country the usual World Cup safe for consumption zone. The event is so enormous that it can literally dominate a country for weeks (I saw it in Germany). Sounds like it will take a lot of work for that level of safety to reach South Africa.

Posted by: Kev29 | July 2, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I tried to think of a place I would like to go less than South Africa for the World Cup. I got nothing.
I think I will wait and go to England in 2018 and jetset all over America in 2022 - assuming the libs have not outlawed airplanes (for us common folk) by then ;-)

Posted by: googlio | July 2, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Outlaw airplanes? No -- but what about environmentally friendly high speed trains that will get you to your destination almost as quickly, for less? Or, what about airplanes that are more fuel efficient?

I didn't realize the common folk were jetsetters. I thought they took Peter Pan/Greyhound or drove.

Posted by: fischy | July 2, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Good point........us non-politicians.
As for the trains...what trains? And why would they outlaw them??

Anyway, safety first. And SA does not fit the mold.

Posted by: googlio | July 2, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Umm -- it's not about "outlawing" trains that don't exist in this country..even though you see them all across Europe. It's about providing funding to lay down the track and buy the trains.

Posted by: fischy | July 2, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I know.....I just figured I would play the same game.
You wrote "Outlaw airplanes? No -- but what about environmentally friendly high speed trains "

Just trying to help Goff's hit count too.

Posted by: googlio | July 2, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say trains?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 2, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey Goff, how much do we pay for a Soccer Insider Salon? :-)

Posted by: EssEff | July 2, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Soccer Insider Salon will be held at Five Guys.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 2, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Five Guys, it is! Some '80s Southern rock, burgers with extra 'shrooms and lots of napkins. Beckham is paying (or not). Let's eat, lads.....

Posted by: Steve Goff | July 2, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Planes, trains and automobiles (and crazy talk) - the long awaited sequel.

Mugged in his own room, now that's hardcore. Like others had commented before me, cash is the main reason I do not have SA 2010 in my near future travelling plans. There's a lot of time between now and then, and I may have a few loose bills around come the world cup and I am resolved more than ever to still not go. Dude is lucky he wasn't killed, and all for what?...a laptop? Passport? Cash? Africa ain't what she used to be. I came over in 1991 and it was poor back then too from what I remember, but a life also had greater value attached to it. This is a crying shame.

Posted by: Kosh2 | July 2, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Mmmm---and all you can eat peanuts.

Posted by: fischy | July 2, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Five Guys and Southern Rock?!

I'll bring the music!

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 2, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"South Africa is a dangerous place, maybe more dangerous than DC and Baltimore put together. Or at least averaged.

I'm saving up for 2014. Not that Brazil is much better."

Posted by: uac1530 | July 2, 2009 3:36 PM |

LOL! Stay safe uac1530! In Brazil, the police hunt and kill street kids. Safe! If you think DC or Baltimore is anywhere in the same ball park as South Africa and Brazil, then you need to stay home in your basement with your guns and hobo beans waiting for the Mayan calendar to end or Obama's thrid term in office.

Posted by: Boogie_Knight | July 2, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I vote for here instead...

Posted by: SportzNut21 | July 2, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

A sad but predictable story. the next two cups will unfortunatly be the least safe in a long time, probably since 1986. Lets hope that the excitement and national pride of hosting the worlds biggest sporting event will spark goodwill amongst what seems like a soccer crazy population in South Africa.

Posted by: jjfooty | July 2, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

With respect, I am getting mighty tired of the racist moaning about how we can't have the World Cup in South Africa because there is a danger of violent crime. By that standard, we would have to take the United States off the list of prospective World Cup hosts because of its high numbers of murders and other crimes? In DC alone, they are celebrating because this year they are hoping to get the number of murders down to ONLY 134. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/29/AR2009062904447.html.

I hear that country has a high incarceration rate, for example. One out of every 31 adults is in jail!

http://polizeros.com/2009/05/17/us-has-highest-incarceration-rate-in-world/

Posted by: fentysupporter | July 2, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Racist? Who brought up race?
Oh, right, you did. Thanks!

Posted by: googlio | July 2, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

LOL @ fenty supporter. Pls bite me.

Posted by: sobugged1 | July 2, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I used to date a South African girl who has lived in the US for a while. When she went back to SA for the first time in 10 years, she went to a house party with about 30 other people in their early 20s, and her closest friend mentioned offhand that he had a gun on him. She, having lived in America for years, was shocked. So the friend yelled out for everyone to be quiet and asked all the people in the room to show my then-girlfriend their guns - and they all had one. The reason, they explained, was that all of them had had some experience with violent crime, the police and judicial system were a joke, and the gun was the only way they could protect themselves.

Shortly thereafter, she was taking a car trip in broad daylight with her family and, when their car was stopped at a light, several men came up to it and started picking up and rocking it in a carjacking attempt. No police help, no nothing.

South Africa is not safe. That's not a racist comment. It's a fact. There's a breakdown in the basic societal order. I'm deeply hopeful that this gets fixed before next year, because there is no way that $epp will move it.

Posted by: gocaps2 | July 2, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

With respect, I am getting mighty tired of the racist moaning about how we can't have the World Cup in South Africa because there is a danger of violent crime.

Posted by: fentysupporter | July 2, 2009 4:59 PM

Ummm...yeah...right, fentysupporter. You *do* realize this was the first mention of race, don't you?

Posted by: DrBeaker | July 2, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

What were the crime stats at the recent Rugby and cricket WCs? Anyone know? I'm not espousing the view that SA is safe, but everything posted here is anecdotal.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 2, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"Not the first story I've heard from people who traveled to the Confederations Cup. The second reason why I'm not going next year. (first is I can't afford it). I am all ready making plans to attend 2014 in Brazil, a can't miss tournament."

Sometimes you wonder how much sub-conscious prejudices or even just impressions play into decisions like this.

Jo'burg is definitely one of the most dangerous cities in the world, but Rio is even more so.

Jo'burg had the 11th highest in the world last year... but Rio was 7th.

And what was 6th? Washington, DC...

So if the US gets awarded WC '18 or '22, will you not go to RFK?

Posted by: saabrian | July 2, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

"Jo'burg had the 11th highest in the world last year... but Rio was 7th."

That would be in reference to the murder rate.

Posted by: saabrian | July 2, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

@I-270Exit1, I hear ya, but when one considers the rap on the cops and the legal system there I'm not so sure it would be a stretch to consider the crime stats as also (if not very much) anecdotal.


@fentysupporter. I'm originally from Africa and I'll be the first to admit that it's no picnic. That said, I fail to see how stating or commenting on the obvious (being the crime situation in SA) can be considered as racist? Please don't tell me that based your accusation on the word Africa being a part of what is being said. If so then that would infact be racist in itself.

The racist comment apart, you did make some valid arguements. However, I find it hard to take you seriously when you use the name fentysupporter -- with that name I'm not sure if you're having a laugh or having a go?

Posted by: Kosh2 | July 2, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Five Guys, it is! Some '80s Southern rock, burgers with extra 'shrooms and lots of napkins. Beckham is paying (or not). Let's eat, lads.....

Posted by: Steve Goff | July 2, 2009 4:32 PM

And ladies, too, I hope. We don't want to be left out...

Posted by: sec133row5 | July 2, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

@saabrian: while you make a decent point, I think the main difference is that there is plenty of security and police presence in DC. If the criminal element was actually clever enough to figure out who to jack and where they'd commit these crimes, I get a feeling that it'll still be highly unlikely. Blatter mentioned that SA got a 7.5 rating out of 10 for the Confed Cup. The biggest problem being housing(Safe Housing I'd assume) and transportation. Those things are hardly a problem in DC, or the US in general.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 2, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Can I get fries with that?

Posted by: fischy | July 2, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

The biggest problem being housing(Safe Housing I'd assume) and transportation. Those things are hardly a problem in DC, or the US in general.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 2, 2009 5:59 PM |
-------------------------------------------------

True -- DC's problems aren't transportation and safe housing.

DC's problems are housing and safe transportation.

Posted by: fischy | July 2, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

And ladies, too, I hope. We don't want to be left out...
Posted by: sec133row5
============

I would be in deep trouble if I went to Five Guys and left out my wife.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 2, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey -- which Five Guys are we going to?

There's one in Laurel and another in New Carrolton, but we know how the Virginians feel about PG County. I'm sure they want the one in Falls Church/Merrifield -- but it's not convenient for everyone, and is it really a big enough space? There's a Five Guys in Dulles, but the Metro doesn't even go there yet. Same problem with Ashburn -- too far and no Metro.

There's one in Shady Grove -- Metro accessible, but then everybody's gotta fight the traffic on I-270.

I guess the ideal location would be the one by Nationals Park, right by the Anacostia. Would Fenty be OK with a meet-up there?

Posted by: fischy | July 2, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

ha. Good one fischy.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 2, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

With apologies to I-270, did someone say "El Tren"?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WU6Jg4vrbw8&feature=related

Posted by: ricky_b | July 2, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

There is a Five Guys in Prince Frederick also.......that is South BFE for you guys....or even further south in California - St Mary's County.

Posted by: googlio | July 2, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I tried to think of a place I would like to go less than South Africa for the World Cup. I got nothing.
...

Posted by: googlio | July 2, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse
============================================
I didn't have a problem listing a host of places that I'd like to go to less than S. Africa: Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Myanmar, Antartica in Winter, Death Valley in the summer, Giant Stadium anytime, Sudan...

Posted by: J_S_F | July 2, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't this stuff happen to Blatter and Warner, the people who really deserve it?

Posted by: JosephDHippolito | July 2, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to go to South Africa for the Cup. I'll have to keep playing the lottery...

Posted by: fischy | July 2, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if there is a waiting period to buy handguns in South Africa?

Posted by: alan19 | July 2, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect to the (presumably) mostly male respondents here, SA also has a huge problem with sexual violence - read rape. Again, like crime in general, it is a function of the racial and economic disparities in the country.

In other words, women going to SA for the WC next year have more to worry about than losing their belongings.

And as for the crime in general, it is going to affect those fewer economic resources more than those with lots - be they tourists or locals. If you got no dough, you can't build a nice, secure fence around your home or hire bodyguards.

Posted by: Modibo | July 2, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

With respect, I am getting mighty tired of the racist moaning about how we can't have the World Cup in South Africa because there is a danger of violent crime. By that standard, we would have to take the United States off the list of prospective World Cup hosts because of its high numbers of murders and other crimes? In DC alone, they are celebrating because this year they are hoping to get the number of murders down to ONLY 134. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/29/AR2009062904447.html.
I hear that country has a high incarceration rate, for example. One out of every 31 adults is in jail!
http://polizeros.com/2009/05/17/us-has-highest-incarceration-rate-in-world/
Posted by: fentysupporter | July 2, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse
Classy comment from the supporter of a classy person.

I lived in Ghana and South Africa at various times and have traveled to many other African countries. To say that people (of whom you don’t know their race) are racist because they are concerned with safety in South Africa is insane. The most harsh comments I have ever heard about safety in South Africa have come from other black Africans, some of which have the money but will not be going to South Africa because of safety concerns.

Just as I know many black people in the DC area who would never go to Anacostia because of safety concerns…although I guess you would consider them racist as well.

Posted by: Southeasterner | July 2, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Wow, South Africa must be really unsafe. Why would anyone like to live there or even visit there. I mean, two of my friends got accosted in Georgetown (while visiting from the UK) last year (first time in DC)... despite me assuring them that all that stuff about DC being unsafe was only limited across the river. What is the world coming to? If you can't be safe in DC with our over 34 different law enforcement agencies and our level of affluence where can someone be safe at? Anyway, I assured them that was just an aberration. That DC is very safe.

Posted by: samiismoni14 | July 2, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Burgers and 80's music? Yes!

Posted by: invncbl | July 2, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Brazil 2014 isn't going to be any safer.

As The Onion's _Our Dumb World_ puts it, Brazil "boasts the most beautiful people ever to be carjacked at gunpoint."

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | July 2, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Didn't the Brazilians have all their crap stolen from thier rooms in Crystal City while they were playing at RFK during the 1994 World Cup or the friendlies leading up to the 94 Cup? Hell, I got mugged after a Washington Diplomats game in the 1980's...got the crap beat out of me.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | July 2, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Hence 80's and or 90's. H st NE is like a hipster paradise these days...

Posted by: DadRyan | July 2, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I've always wondered whether all the resources that will be spent on ensuring the safety and comfort of football fans from abroad will stoke resentment on the part of ordinary South Africans.

Posted by: universityandpark | July 2, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

mental note: if going to SA 2010, bring gun, preferably .44 Magnum preferred by an Inspector Callahan.

Maybe one of Snoop-Dog's bodyguards also.

Posted by: BBFunnyMan | July 3, 2009 2:40 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the opportunity to comment.
I have only lived in South Africa for the last 51 years. I have not been attacked once, never been in a gun fight, never owned a gun, do not carry arround mace or any other self protection. I work in an area that has a problem with drugs, unemployment and gangsterism. I confront known drug dealers and gangsters wowing to chase them out the area.
I am not much more wealthy than the average citizen and am prepared to share time and coertesy with all that I meet. The locals protect me as I try be one of the locals whereever I may go.
Anyone who needs protection in Cape Town in any area at any time needs to take this advice. Feel that you belong here, have every right to be here and your being here does benifit everyone, then I know that we the locals will make you very welcome, hey we enjoy new company and the very few criminals and gangsters do not have a chance against us.....
For those that will not come for 2010... you are gooing to miss out on a once in a lifetime experience, Hey you might even be within 10 000 km of the greatest man on Earth...
ViVa Mandela... Viva
Viva 2010 Viva
Viva Faith love and humanity

Posted by: RichardGaetner | July 3, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company