Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 18th 2013 Contents A57
Thursday, July 18, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
PRETORIA---A hearing into
"shameful" collusion by construc-
tion companies that led to bid rig-
ging and price fixing on 2010 World
Cup projects opened yesterday, tar-
nishing the legacy of South Africa s
historic tournament that was ini-
tially praised as a glowing success.
A tribunal is being asked to con-
firm fines totalling 1.46 billion rand
($147 million) for 15 companies that
conceded to "rigged" projects in the
general construction industry in
South Africa between 2006 and 2011.
World Cup-related work is includ-
ed in the findings by the Competition
Commission, which uncovered the
wrongdoing by the country s biggest
building firms in a two-year process
in which the companies came for-
ward and acknowledged their roles
and the extent of price fixing in
exchange for guarantees they would-
n t face criminal prosecution.
There was "a shameful pattern of
collusion" by the companies, David
Unterhalter, a lawyer representing
the commission, told the hearing.
The collusion by the companies
led to inflated prices on projects like
the new $730 million Cape Town
Stadium and a $200 million contract
to redevelop Soccer City stadium
and the surrounding precinct in
Johannesburg, the World Cup s
showpiece venue that hosted the
opening game and the Spain-
The revelations chip away at the
national pride and unity still felt by
South Africa after it was widely
praised for pulling off a successful
World Cup despite initial doubts.
An association representing some
of the nine host cities for the World
Cup estimated that at least five of
the cities were overcharged by
between ten and 30 per cent on sta-
diums and World Cup-related infra-
structure. The South African Local
Government Association says Cape
Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Port
Elizabeth and Polokwane could col-
lectively be owed up to $390 million
back because of the price fixing.
Lawyers representing SALGA and
the Gauteng provincial government,
which controls South Africa s com-
mercial hub, Johannesburg, asked
for permission at the start of the
two-day tribunal hearing to inter-
vene in the process, wanting more
disclosure on the rigged projects.
Tribunal chairman Norman Manoim
dismissed their application, but the
cities can pursue damages from the
companies in civil court once the
hearing has ruled on the fines.
South Africa s central government
spent about $3 billion on the first
World Cup in Africa, including the
building of six new stadiums, the
rebuilding of Soccer City and the
upgrading of the other three ven-
South Africa WCup tarnished by stadium bid rigging
ask CAS to overturn
sport s highest
court to over-
League ban frozen until its appeal is completed,
the Court of Arbitration for Sport said yes-
Fenerbahce was scheduled to enter the third
qualifying round draw on Friday, and play a
first-leg match on July 30 or 31. Bursaspor
is set to enter instead.
CAS has not set dates for hearings.
Both clubs deny wrongdoing and are chal-
lenging UEFA appeal panel rulings announced
on Monday to uphold their expulsions.
UEFA judged that Fenerbahce officials fixed
matches to win the 2011 Turkish league, and
Besiktas fixed its 2011 Turkish Cup victory.
Fenerbahce has sent UEFA a letter on behalf
of its players, protesting what is now its second
Champions League ban within three seasons.
Forward Dirk Kuyt wrote that players had
"a lot of questions" for UEFA, according to
a statement published by the Istanbul club.
"It s very hard to understand after a one-
year ban from European competitions in the
season 2011-2012," said Kuyt, a Netherlands
international, who helped Fenerbahce reach
the Europa League semifinals last season.
"This is not even proven that we are guilty.
The next year we are allowed to play football
in Europe. But after that UEFA comes back
again with a higher punishment," Kuyt said
UEFA rules bar clubs from its competitions
for one season if they are connected to fixing
matches played since April 2007.
UEFA s latest ruling also barred Fenerbahce
for an additional season of European com-
petition when it next qualifies.
Besiktas qualified for the Europa League
by finishing third in the Turkish league, but
could enter the Champions League in place
of runner-up Fenerbahce.
Galatasaray, the historical rival of Fener-
bahce, won the Turkish league and will play
in the elite Champions League group stage,
which starts in September.
Links Archive July 17th 2013 July 19th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page