Shopping mall silences vuvuzela

By Colleen Dardagan & Sapa-AP

The vuvuzela has been silenced. Traders and shoppers at a Durban shopping mall have put their foot down and declared the venue a no-blow zone for the instrument.

Radio stations and newspapers have not only written at length about them, but run polls on whether the controversial instruments should be banned, acclaimed or declared a national symbol.

Some fans and players have also complained about the din and suggestions have been made on how to tune the noise out of the game while watching games on television.

The management of Gateway shopping centre on Tuesday banned the blowing of vuvuzelas inside the building, following complaints received from shop owners and members of the public last Friday, when the World Cup opened.

Centre manager Adrian Raw said the "distinctive" sound of the vuvuzela in the closed environment was infringing on patrons' shopping experience.

Zahirah Variawa, the public relations officer for the mall, said the decision was taken to ban blowing of the instruments after the World Cup opening on Friday.

"Young people were going up to elderly people and blowing vuvuzelas in their ears. People started leaving restaurants and shopkeepers could not hear what customers were saying. We saw a dent in trade on Friday."

People who did not heed the instructions of the security personnel would be removed from the premises and not allowed to return.

Meanwhile, the BBC is considering filtering out crowd noise from its World Cup broadcasts following a deluge of complaints about the vuvuzelas.

By Tuesday morning, the BBC had received 545 complaints from viewers over the droning plastic horns.

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