A few weeks ago a wrote a post looking at predictions made by a handful of South African psychics regarding our national football team’s prospects in this years soccer world cup. Well, last night we became the first host country not to make it to the knock-out stages of the competition. We put up a good fight, but in the end the best we could give just was not good enough. That means that the time has now come for me to look back at the predictions made by the psychics mentioned above and to compare their “premonitions” with the actual result.
I will tackle the results in the same order as I tackled each psychic in the original post. For a more complete treatment of each please read the first post.
1. Mariette Theunissen
The first claim which Theunissen made is that midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala (the guy pulling the funny face in the picture above) would be the “strongest link” in the team. I’m not exactly sure how she would quantify this, so lets take a look at goals scored by South African players and lets also check out who was named “Man of the Match” in each of our three games of this years Cup.
South Africa 1 : 1 Mexico: Tshabalala scored our goal and he was elected Man of the Match in this encounter (You Go Boy!).
South Africa 0 : 3 Uruguay: Well, that score speaks for itself. Diego Forlan was named Man of the Match.
South Africa 2 : 1 France: Our two goals in this game were scored by Bongani Khumalo and Katlego Mphela, Mphela was named man of the match.
If we were only taking goals scored and Man of the Match awards into account, the most we could say about Tshabalala is that he is an important member of a team of effective players. This is not the same as being the strongest link. Sorry Marietta, you missed target on this one.
Secondly, Bafana Bafana did not play through 60% of the tournament, as Theunissen said they would. We will have to wait for the final to see whether or not her final prediction has any merit.
2. Tash Bassani
Tash’s only prediction for Bafana Bafana is that they would “get close to, or even go through to, the knockout round”. Well, they did sort of get close, if you don’t count the five goal difference, which, in a low scoring game, is not a small difference.
So far, nothing bad seems to have happened to the #23 in green: Raïs M’Bohli.
3. Sharon-Ann Riley
Sharon claimed that yellow cards would be “the order of the day” for Bafana Bafana. We got NONE in the game against France (who got one), NONE against Uruguay (who got two), and TWO against Mexico (who also got two). Not exactly the terrible rain of yellow cards Riley foretold, now is it?
The two Sangoma’s featured in my original article didn’t do any better. Victoria Mtshengu, who “sees only darkness ahead for Bafana Bafana” because they didn’t kill enough goats to satisfy his dead relatives, was completely wrong. I don’t think anyone except the most committed pessimist would claim that our time spent in the competition was all “darkness”.
“Mageza” didn’t do any better. He imagined an elephant which he claimed signified our boys would make it to the final against BRAZIL, well, I think it’s time to ease up on the hallucinogens there Mr. Mageza.
The Skeptic Detective’s Verdict: The Psychic “experts” FAILED!