News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Friday December 15th 2017

Stab proof vests for World Cup fans

Raymond Joseph

A British company is cashing in on security concerns around the World Cup and is marketing “stab proof” vests branded with the flags of competing countries, to soccer fans heading for South Africa in June.
Football fan Sascha Cutura, the founder of Protektorvest, says he hit on the idea after reading a story about how the German team’s World Cup team security consultants had advised players and support staff to wear bullet proof vests when they ventured out of their hotel.

“This got me thinking, and I came up with a solution for people who feel they need extra protection,” Cutura said in an email interview.

Part of the company’s marketing pitch includes publishing a copy of the SAPS’s official crime statistics for 2008/2009 on its website, as well as highlighting extracts relating directly to knife crimes.

“During 2008/2009 a total of 72,194 (59.5%) of all aggravated robberies were street/public robberies. In 38% of street robberies, knives were used,” reads one quote, while another extract quotes the fact that “knives and other sharp objects were the most common instruments used to kill victims (52, 2%)”.

But Cutura says he is not using scare tactics to push up sales. “If we didn’t publish these figures people would think we’re creating a situation which doesn’t exist,” he says. “By publishing an official
report that shows the real crime statistics, we give people just an objective overview of the situation. This will help them make up their own minds, and if they need extra protection they can get it from us.”

But National police spokesman, Senior Superintendant Vish Naidoo, warned people to beware of companies trying to use security fears to cash in on the World Cup.
“South Africa has hosted numerous big sporting events, like the Rugby World Cup, the IPL cricket and the Confederations Cup and there were no incidents, nothing happened. So people must be very careful not to be misled by companies using scare strategies to the disadvantage of South Africa.”

The vests, which are manufactured in Asia, come in a variety of sizes and can be worn on top of a shirt, or as a hidden undergarment, according to the company’s website. The vests are being offered for sale for US$69.95, plus an additional $2 if buyers want their team’s country flag on the front, and will be delivered
directly to visiting fans’ hotels or other accommodation in Johannesburg or Pretoria, just before the World Cup kicks off.

The company has also rented premises close to OR Tambo Airport, where people who have ordered vests can choose to collect them when they arrive in Africa. The depot, which will also sell vests to the public, will
operate for about two months leading up to and during the World Cup.

Tags: 2010 World Cup, Protektorvest, Sascha Cutura, security, stab-proof vest

Reader Feedback

2 Responses to “Stab proof vests for World Cup fans”

  1. Stormy says:

    THERE IS NO NEED FOR THIS RUBBISH – NO STAB VESTS ARE REQUIRED IN SA FOR THE WORLD CUP. WHY IS THIS COMPANY ALLOWED TO DEFAME THE NATION OF S.A.? THEY MUST GIVE APOLOGIES TO THE WHOLE SOUTH AFRICAN NATION AND THE COUNTRY. NO SPORTSMEN HAVE EVER REQUIRED SUCH VESTS WHEN THEY HAVE BEEN IN S.A. HOW DISGRACEFUL AND DESPICABLE OF PROTEKTORVEST – U SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES. From a Fed up South African…

  2. Claude Pretorius says:

    Such opportunistic scare-mongering is bad enough … that people like Sascha Cutura and Protektorvest would deliberately and mischieviously attempt to bring disfavour to soccer, FIFA and South Africa deserves legal, media and general pubic sanction!!

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