Monday, 14 June 2010

World Cup stewards battle riot police

THE REAL face of South Africa behind the stage set of the World Cup has been revealed in all its ugliness.

Armed riot police charged at stadium stewards in two cities after they protested at being paid only a fraction of what they had been promised.

Reports The Daily Mail: "Tension between World Cup stewards and the police boiled over in Cape Town on Monday night just 24 hours after unhappy stadium workers were charged by riot squads in Durban.

"On a day when freak rain storms battered the Mother City, pressure rose outside the Green Point Stadium, too, as stewards unhappy with their pay and conditions clashed with armed police in the streets before going on strike.

"In Durban on Sunday, there were similar problems after stewards promised a wage of 1500 rand (£150) for their day's work at the Germany v Australia game allegedly received just 190 rand (£19).

'We left our homes at seven in the morning and now it is nearly one o'clock,' said steward Vincent Mkize in the early hours of Monday. 'In the dry run, they didn't want to tell us how much we would get. Now we know why that was.'

"On Monday night trouble began about three hours before kickoff at the Italy v Paraguay game as stewards began to protest partly in support of their Durban colleagues but also in response to their own gripes about treatment.

"As police helicopters hovered overhead, South African police officers charged stewards who had refused to take up their positions and for a while the stadium was locked down, leaving fans out in the rain.

"It was not known last night if anyone was injured but it emerged here that police were later forced to take over stewarding duties."