You can’t take Rudy Giuliani anywhere these days. He merely visited Johannesburg in June to speak at a conference, and he commented that crime there could be reduced by 60 percent if the city were run like a business. Since then, the South African city has been abuzz with rumors that the mayor who transformed urban policing in the United States is set to oversee security when Johannesburg hosts the 2010 World Cup — or maybe even to take over policing the city. (According to one local commentator, Bill Bratton, the former NYPD commissioner now running L.A.’s force, turned down the job — and a seven-figure salary — in the late nineties.) But it’s all just wishful thinking, says Giuliani spokesman Sunny Mindel. “Mr. Giuliani spoke in general terms about how to turn around an urban center,” she says, noting that Joburg mayor Amos Masondo has never formally offered Giuliani any job. And the soccer people say his intervention isn’t necessary, anyway. “We are certain that South Africa’s authorities have the necessary resources to face the task of providing security and safety for World Cup 2010,” says their top flack. Mayor Masondo, remaining coy, declined to comment.
— Nadine Rubin