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Tutu: Media 'sensationalize' SA crime

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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu believes the issue of crime in South Africa has been "sensationalized" by the media
  • The 78-year-old is convinced the South African authorities have taken adequate steps to ensure fans safety
  • Tutu is confident the 2010 World Cup can draw South Africa together
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(CNN) -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu has told CNN that he believes the media have "sensationalized" the issue of crime in South Africa ahead of the 2010 World Cup which starts in June.

Tutu, who was the first black head of the Anglican Church in South Africa, is convinced national authorities have taken adequate steps to make sure that fans are safe and secure during the tournament.

"Our media sensationalize a great deal," said Tutu, who formerly chaired his nation's Truth and Reconciliation Commission which investigated crimes committed by all sides during the apartheid regime.

"The police have identified a special squad that is going to be responsible for security, so they are going to tighten security a great deal more than would normally be the case."

Tutu's comments come after the Institute for Security of Studies (ISS) reported in September 2009 that incidents of carjacking and house robbery in South Africa had increased by five per cent and 27.3 per cent respectively in the previous year.

Despite a rise in some areas of crime, the findings also showed the murder rate had decreased by 3.4 per cent.

The 78-year-old is also confident that hosting football's showpiece event can provide a massive lift for the country, and will also have a positive effect across Africa.

He went on to express the events that kick off on June 11 could help to unite South Africa after the tension country experienced during apartheid.

"It's a fantastic boost, not just to South Africa but to the continent," the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner added. "After the demise of apartheid, it is an important event for trying to draw us together."

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