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  • Written by Joe Humphreys

Opinion: Africa should not be defined by single events

South African President Jacob Zuma with FIFA President Sepp Blatter on the big screen at the Orlando Stadium World Cup 2010 opening concert. Photo: erichludwig/Flickr.NEWSPAPERS DON’T really go in for apologies. But if they did, they’d print a whopping big "sorry" to the continent of Africa for their pre-tournament coverage of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

In the months and weeks leading up to South Africa’s hosting of the tournament, media outlets worldwide (with some honourable exceptions, naturally) predicted the mass murder of football fans, along with widespread organisational chaos and incompetence.

They ran misleading stories comparing current land reforms in South Africa to Robert Mugabe’s policy of farm confiscations in neighbouring Zimbabwe. And they generated no end of doom-laden copy about the state of race relations in the so-called Rainbow Nation, while running an enthusiastic sideline in lampooning the country’s president, the polygamous native Zulu Jacob Zuma.

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