World Cup Information Ordered Released

12 July 2010

A South African newspaper, the Mail & Guardian, has persuaded a court that the World Cup local organizing committee must provide the M&G with all tender documents pertaining to contracts awarded for the World Cup and the Confederations Cup within 30 days.

“M&G editor-in-chief Nic Dawes emphasised that the newspaper was not raining on the World Cup parade,” according to the M&G article.

“We’re as excited as anyone else about the World Cup, but we think it’s crucial that South Africans have a full picture of where the billions of rands spent staging the Cup have been spent, who has benefited and what the nature of the decision-making processes were in that regard,” he said following the court decision.

The newspaper sought contract materials including the name of companies to which contracts were given and the value of the tenders. The organizing committee resisted on the grounds that it is a private body and should not have to comply with the requirements of transparency in public procurement legislation.

Acting Judge Les Morison ruled in the South Gauteng High Court, however, ruled July 6, that the committee was “performing a public function or performing a public function when deciding on the tenders in question.”

“Refusing access to these records would enable the organiser of this event to keep from the public eye documents which may disclose evidence of corruption, graft and incompetence in the organisation of the World Cup, or which may disclose that there has been no such malfeasance,” according to the judge.

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