JOHANNESBURG (AFP) South Africa has spent billions building stadiums and roads for the World Cup , with only one major corruption scandal but growing worries about nepotism in public works. Any mega-event presents ample opportunity for corrupt individuals to influence outcomes through bribes, fraud and extortion, wrote the Institute for Security Studies, in a report on conflicts of interest at the World Cup . The new stadium in Nelspruit, which cost one billion rands (132 million dollars, 100 million euros), has drawn the most intense scrutiny. In 2007, the speaker of the local municipal assembly, Jimmy Mohlala, alleged irregularities in the awarding of the contract to South African firm Basil Read and French firm Bouygues Travaux Publics. After an independent report into his claims, provincial authorities sacked the municipal team in February 2009. One year later, Mohlala was shot dead in his home by two hooded men. And police are investigating the killings of several other provincial politicians in 2009, amid news reports of a hit list of people targeted because of their opposition to certain World Cup contracts. Worrying as the Nelspruit case is however, it does not appear to be the norm, said one observer. The World Cup infrastructure programmes were reasonably clean in most cases, said Anthony Butler, political science professor at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. The real problem in the football championship appeared to one of nepotism in South Africa, said Butler. More recently, there appears to be a major growth in patronage relationships centred around public sector procurement, he told AFP. At all levels of government, contracts appear to be determined by relationships political, personal or familial rather than by open competition. The problem of nepotism was underscored in the study by the Institute for Security Studies. It focused on the new stadium in Durban, which cost 3.1 billion rands (409 million dollars, 300 million euros). While there was no evidence of corruption, the benefits of this new stadium are highly concentrated, among big construction firms... and the local political elite, researcher Sam Sole wrote. In South Africa, such conflicts of interest are increasingly the rule rather than the exception. More than 50,000 government workers also have private businesses, according to the ISS. Unions and the communist party, both aligned with the ruling African National Congress (ANC), regularly lash out at tenderpreneurs, people who build fortunes from government contracts thanks to their political connections. Such conflicts have dragged South Africa down the Transparency International index of perceived corruption, from a ranking of 34 in the world in 2000 to 55 last year. Many senior ANC leaders are horrified. At the same time, too many of them are compromised by their own behaviour, Butler said. The kinds of enrichment that were once confined to the ANC elite are now becoming widespread, he added. Since President Jacob Zuma took office last year, he has loudly condemned corrupt politicians. But every South African remembers that prosecutors dropped a graft probe into Zuma just before last years general elections that brought him to power.