The new public protector says she will leave the dispute over the state capture report prepared by h.
ARE the new stadiums built for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, a country where football competes with rugby and cricket for audiences, destined to become white elephants after the month-long tournament?
That's the R12,1billion question - the cost of five new stadiums in Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit and Polokwane.
The "white elephant" spectre is one that has come to haunt World Cup and Olympic Games hosts.
A little over a year after the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games China is struggling to find a real purpose for its $450million (R3,3billion) showpiece Bird's Nest Stadium, while one of Germany's 2006 World Cup stadiums in Leipzig also struggles to attract more than a few thousand fans to third-division games.
With six months to go until kick-off in Johannesburg, South Africa faces the possibility that some of its new venues will be gathering dust after July 2010.
That the country needed a raft of new stadiums is not in doubt. The country's existing stadiums were too small and shabby.
Cape Town and Durban already had decent rugby stadiums of more than 50000 seats, which some say could have been expanded to host eight World Cup games each and two semifinals.
Both cities opted instead for new stadiums. Wedged between Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Town's new 68000-seat Greenpoint Stadium has an undeniably stunning backdrop.
But locations like that comes at a price - an extra R1,2billion in site-specific costs to be exact, says Cape Town's 2010 manager Pieter Cronje.
The city's two Premier Soccer League teams have too few fans to fill it and the provincial rugby team is deeply attached to its iconic Newlands Stadium.
Cronje believes Stade de France and local company SAIL, the consortium chosen to operate the venue, will fill it with big concerts, operas and other events.
"We believe the long-term advantage will outweigh this extra cost at the outset," he says.
Durban says it was also thinking long-term when it decided to build a new 70000-seat stadium a few metres from a 52000-seat rugby stadium. The port city plans to throw its hat in the ring for the 2024 Olympics and has equipped Moses Mabhida Stadium with an athletics track, as well as a 106m arch with in-built cable car, to boost its bid.
But "it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that the city cannot afford it", Brian Van Zyl, manager of the Sharks rugby team that is based at the adjacent King's Park Stadium, said in 2006. Over three years the cost of the stadium has nearly doubled to R3,1billion.
"You have to invest in infrastructure to proceed from being a developing country to a developed country," said Errol Heynes, World Cup director in Port Elizabeth, the country's fifth-largest city, which gained a R1,9billion stadium.
Polokwane in northern Limpopo and Nelspruit in northeastern Mpumalanga also have new 45000-seat stadiums, each costing R1,3billion. Johannesburg has Soccer City, which will host the opening and the final of the spectacular.
AmaZulu and Maritzburg United in KwaZulu-Natal have already staged their matches at Moses Mabhida Stadium and the turnout has been impressive. - Sapa-dpa and additional reporting by Sowetan