THERE will be no "machete bloodbath" during the World Cup to avenge the murder of AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche, says Local Organising Committee chief executive Danny Jordaan.
"No. It's not going to happen," Jordaan was replying to questions yesterday about international media reports warning soccer fans that they could be "caught up in a machete race war" in South Africa.
Jordaan was speaking at a reportback on the organising committee's annual general meeting in Sandton yesterday.
Immediately after the AWB leader's murder, the AWB vowed vengeance, but later retracted the threat, instead indicating that it would implement a security plan to protect its members and that this would "fall within the laws of the country".
However, in making the announcement, newly-appointed AWB leader Steyn van Ronge said the organisation could not take responsibility for the actions of individual members.
Terre'Blanche's funeral takes place in Ventersdorp today.
Many soccer fans in England had hired extra security even before the killing, Britain's Daily Star newspaper reported on Monday under the headline: "World Cup fans face bloodbath: race war declared in South Africa".
It pointed out that the murder took place just 40 minutes from England's World Cup camp and claimed that "machete gangs were roaming the streets".
"Like many others, I have sold my football tickets. Nobody wants to visit a country run by buffoons and they advertise their stupidity daily," a fan names Derek commented on an Internet article on World Cup security after the murder.
"I won't be at all surprised if a few bombs go off at some of the stadiums during the World Cup soccer matches," commented another Internet user called Johnny, adding: "These guys won't let anybody get away with their leader's assassination without taking revenge."
"Please don't go to the World Cup. You are not safe there. The crime rate is unreal. Your watch, the lady's ring will be stolen at gunpoint. Stay away. Please," wrote a user named Koos.
Fifa secretary-general Jérôme Valcke said tournament security had not received any specific threats. "We have not received any calls telling us what is going to happen," he said.
Whatever did happen would be dealt with by security. "It's not public," he said.
Interpol's head of operations Chris Eaton was advising Fifa - and the policing agency was sending more than 200 officials to assist in security matters, said Valcke.
AP reported on Tuesday that, according to tour operators, Terre'Blanche's murder had not led to cancellations and that many of the fans coming to South Africa already knew it had a high crime rate. The organising committee said yesterday that 500000 tickets would go on sale over-the-counter on April 15.
Sales until now had been "almost the same as Germany [which hosted the tournament in 2006], perhaps slightly better," said Jordaan. - Sapa