Days before Cape Town hosts the Netball World Cup, security concerns have arisen due to a social media post by Jamaican Jhaniele Fowler. The Jamaican netball captain was robbed in Cape Town, with money taken from her purse. As per news24, the tournament is at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and started today and runs until 6 August.
Fowler, who is in the Mother City as her team prepares for their opening match against Sri Lanka in Group C, posted on her Instagram account, among other things, that she didn’t feel safe in South Africa. “This is so unfortunate; this place isn’t safe,’ the 34-year-old wrote. “First, they stole money from my purse; now, people are trying to come in on us in our rooms. Really!”
— harry (@harrydynes06) July 26, 2023
The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints), which is responsible for the safety and security of all major sporting, cultural, and recreational events, told the media in a press conference on Thursday that the Jamaican team, known as the Sunshine Girls, had filed no report.
“Before we start to investigate, we need to have a statement,’ said Lt General Tebello Mosikili, who is chairperson of Natjoints, which comprises government departments including the South African Police Service, the South African National Defence Force, and the State Security Agency. “We’re waiting for the complainants to come forward. When those certainties become clear, we will definitely launch an investigation,” she said.
Tournament director Priscilla Masisi said that it was all systems go for the tournament and that the teams had brought forward no issues. “There is a teams’ managers meeting, which happens in the hotels, so if there is any issue, it’s brought to our attention,” said Masisi. “We’re speaking with the team managers daily.”
Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa, referring to the fatal shooting in Auckland, New Zealand, that marred the opening of the FIFA Women’s World Cup last week, reassured reporters on Thursday that the alleged Cape Town incident would not affect the hosting a World Cup in South Africa.
“When I went to New Zealand a few days ago, their minister of sport (Grant Robertson) shared something with me,” said Kodwa. “There was an incident that happened on the day of the opening in Auckland. He said to me that you should never give yourselves a 10 out of 10, because there is always room for improvement. When you deal with events of this magnitude, when you’re a host, you need to give yourself nine out of ten. That incident in Auckland has no impact on the whole event. The World Cup is still going to go on, despite the shooting that happened in Auckland,” Kodwa continued.
Two people and an armed attacker were killed, and five others were wounded in the Auckland incident. “I just want to ensure South Africans that the Natjoints and security cluster is ready. There has always been that presence regardless of whether there is a tournament. There are certain things that we’ll learn and improve as we go along. Our capability to host as a country should not be in doubt, we are quite happy with the work that has been done.”
On Sunday, the Proteas take on Jamaica, who were silver medalists at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year.
Picture: Twitter / NetballAust
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