Group in scanty minis still wait­ing for money

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - SHEREE BEGA

BAVARIA Brew­ers might be cel­e­brat­ing the mar­ket­ing coup of the decade, but the 60-odd South African girls at the cen­tre of the in­fa­mous stunt are still wait­ing to be paid.

This week, crim­i­nal charges were dropped against “co-or­di­na­tors” Dutch na­tion­als Bar­bara Castelein and Mirthe Nieuw­poort, who were ar­rested and charged with am­bush mar­ket­ing.

Ea­gle-eyed Fifa of­fi­cials had no­ticed a group of al­most 40 blonde, blue-eyed women clad in scanty orange mini dresses, de­spite the near freez­ing tem­per­a­tures, jump­ing up and down as a group dur­ing the Hol­land v Den­mark clash at Soc­cer City in Jo­han­nes­burg on Mon­day last week.

The two co-or­di­na­tors were ar­rested, held overnight and then re­leased on bail of R10 000 each af­ter sur­ren­der­ing their pass­ports.

The ac­tion raised in­ter­na­tional ire against Fifa for over­re­act­ing to what many thought was a mar­ket­ing ruse, and al­most caused a diplo­matic in­ci­dent be­tween South Africa and the Nether­lands.

Yes­ter­day, the Jo­han­nes­burg mother of one of the 19year-old girls in­volved, spoke of her anger about what had hap­pened and how the South African girls had been left in the cold.

“My daugh­ter didn’t know the lion’s en­clo­sure she would be en­ter­ing,” she said.

The teen and the other South Africans had been hired through Glam­our Pro­mo­tional Mod­els and “in­no­cently went to the sta­dium think­ing they were do­ing a pro­mo­tion at Soc­cer City.

“They were told they were go­ing to be wear­ing Hol­land dresses and were to pro­mote Hol­land dur­ing the game.”

For this they would be paid a flat fee of R800 each.

It is be­lieved that the brew­ery con­tracted sev­eral mod­el­ling agen­cies and pro­mo­tions com­pa­nies to place 33 girls in the sta­dium and 33 out­side. The ones in­side were clad in Dan­ish sup­port­ers’ gear and told to strip off to the orange minis at half­time and sing and at­tract at­ten­tion.

The mother claimed Bavaria was now de­lay­ing pay­ment be­cause it was un­cer­tain as to ex­actly which of the young women ul­ti­mately pitched up on the day.

Her dis­ap­pointed daugh­ter said she was the one who felt “am­bushed”.

“I didn’t even know this was for Bavaria. We were told to put on orange dresses, that ev­ery­thing would be paid for, and that all we had to do was sit in a sta­dium and watch the game. We were told to say we were a group of Dutch fam­ily and friends who got the dresses from our grand­par­ents in Hol­land. I felt like I was am­bushed. There were cam­eras ev­ery­where, and peo­ple were hold­ing on to us and kiss­ing us. We had no idea of what we were get­ting into.

“I was look­ing for­ward to that money for my hol­i­day. Nor­mally with other pro­mo­tional jobs we get paid on the day, or at least a cou­ple of days later.”

Shan­non van Heer­den of Glam­our Pro­mo­tional Mod­els said she too was stunned by the turn of events: “I had no idea this was go­ing to hap­pen. I wasn’t even aware it was for Bavaria as I was deal­ing with a sep­a­rate com­pany.

“All they said is they wanted 40 girls avail­able for the Dutch game. Two to three hours into it, I got a call say­ing some were get­ting ar­rested. It’s dif­fi­cult be­cause par­ents are phon­ing me. I do be­lieve we’ll get the money. The girls just have to be pa­tient.”

Jes­sica, an 18-year-old from Rand­burg, was more san­guine.

She heard about the gig on Face­book and thought it would be easy money to­wards her gap-year.

“We were told that ev­ery time we see the cam­era we must go crazy and we must drink the Bavaria beer. We were told that when we get there (to Soc­cer City), Sky News will be wait­ing for us and then we must just scream in front of the cam­era. It was fun.

“We went on stage and danced. An­other girl was crowned Miss Nether­lands.

“Ev­ery­thing was fine and then we went for lunch and peo­ple started to come up to us and take pho­tos of the lo­gos on the back of the dresses and say we can’t do pro­mo­tions at Fifa events. They told us they would es­cort us out. We were fine with that and not trau­ma­tised at all. We didn’t know it would be such a huge scan­dal.”

A Bavaria spokes­woman in Hol­land told Week­end Ar­gus that the com­pany had en­tered into an agree­ment with Fifa and could no longer com­ment on the case. But she added: “I can­not imag­ine that they (the women) will not be paid.”

ORANGE SQUASH: These women have still not been paid, al­though the brew­ery has wan­gled it­self pub­lic­ity worth mil­lions.

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