South Africa orders Zimbabwe to “clean up” ahead of 2010 World Cup

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South Africa has told its neighbor, Zimbabwe, to speedily resolve its political crisis saying it would not allow the country to disturb the 2010 Fifa World Cup tournament.

There are growing fears that Zimbabwe’s economic and political crisis could impact negatively on the 2010 FIFA World Cup and thus make the region volatile ahead of the global football fiesta.

Jacob Zuma’s appointed three member facilitation comprising Charles Nqakula, Mac Maharaj and Zuma’s international relations advisor Lindiwe Zulu have told Zimbabwe principals that it is becoming impatient with their failure to put finality to the sticking points.

Meeting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara on Monday and President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday, the three member team expressed Zuma’s concern and the potential danger the Zimbabwe crisis posed on the World Cup. Zuma is under pressure to “clean up the region” both internally and externally for the successful hosting of the tournament, the trio said.

Last night James Maridadi, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson said the South African facilitators had officially told the Prime Minister that South Africa is now considered Zimbabwe’s unending political squabbles degenerating into a direct threat to their own country.

“Several issues were brought up by the facilitators including the real possibility of an outbreak of xenophobic attacks during the World Cup if political stability is not restored in Zimbabwe,” Maridadi said.

At least 42 people died and tens of thousands of foreigners mostly Zimbabweans were displaced across South Africa last year in riots over jobs and rising crime in Africa’s biggest economy.

Other smaller uprisings over jobs and poor delivery of sanitation and health services have occurred since. Last month 2 700 Zimbabwean asylum seekers had to set up temporary safety camps in rural areas after attacks, reports say.

South Africa faces an influx of visitors from all over the globe next year when it hosts the Soccer World Cup, which will run from June 11 to July 11.

International pressure was mounting on Zuma and anxiety within South
Africa was rising while in Zimbabwe there was growing frustration over
the politicians’ dilly-dallying, Maridadi said.

2010 World Cup  South Africa's preparation to host the games on African soil for the first time but also individual African countries' determination to take part in the historic event. Five African countries - Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria, South Africa and Ghana - are selected to join twenty seven teams from around the world to battle it out on the football pitch for the gold trophy. One by one, the African teams are eliminated, but Africans will not be bogged down as they rally behind their compatriots on the wings of the vuvuzela, a far cry from the near diplomatic row between Algeria and Egypt during the qualifiers. Ghana are the last team to leave but not before African unity becomes reality...
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