For 17 years Sepp Blatter ruled the soccer world amid allegation and rumours of corruption, mismanagement and endless skull doggery. He survived and prospered with the support of sport, political and economic leaders from across the world.

Locally I have considered if our stadium was a deliberate miscalculation. How else is it possible to explain why the many obvious warnings signs that was prevalent before construction was ignored?

In 2007 Arthur Weinberg chairperson of Cape Town Environmental Protection Association {CEPA} challenged the City of Cape Town and the Provincial Government to a hold a referendum. He bid that the ratepayers of Cape Town be consulted on the stadium building which was originally estimated at R1.5 billion then R3 billion and now anywhere near R5 billion, who really knows.

In response, the former City of Cape Town spokesperson Pieter Cronje said “The city will oppose any legal action to halt construction of the Green Point Stadium”.

On the 5th November 2010 Anthony Leiman and Arthur Weinberg wrote a lengthy article in the Cape Argus asking several questions which are worth repeating as it continues to haunt the origins of the stadium, this includes: Who decided that Green Point was the location? Was it Sepp Blatter or Thabo Mbeki, did former Premier Ebrahim Rasool and former Mayor Helen Zille have any input?

According to Arthur Weinberg, on 23rd November 2005, Rasool received a call from Essop Pahad who said that the presidency felt that Cape Town should consider proposing a semi-final match in a stadium with a capacity of about 65 000 at Green Point. While this question may seem redundant, there are many who believe that, if Sepp Blatter did decide or manipulate Pres. Mbeki; the City of Cape Town, on behalf of its ratepayers may have a legal case against Fifa for restitutions.

In 2006 already, the City commissioned Bayette Development Consulting to evaluate alternative venues for the World Cup. The report rated a stadium in Green Point last out of six. If Green Point was a fait accompli, why commission a report and in the end, why was this report disregarded?

The City also spent a great deal of ratepayer’s money commissioning “business plans” with two international companies. The first was discredited by the second who was also later discredited. What happened to these reports, did the city request or receive a refund for these discredited reports?

What is obvious from the increasing losses from the Stadium is that the losses are unsustainable and those who benefitted from the project are long gone. The ratepayers of Cape Town needs brave leaders who must consider legal strategies to recover some of the losses from Fifa or Sepp Blatter or who ever made the decisions. The historic efforts by the city to manage the Stadium are like a Grade 7 child forced to study university level calculus. Those currently in charge are way out of their depth.

In the words of the wise, few things are more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Those leaders liable for the stadium losses must be brought to answer.

 

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress