SA police ‘keeping their eye on the ball’

30 June 2010

South African National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele is committed to making sure that the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ continues to be a safe one as the tournament enters the final phases.

“This is a demanding but intriguing period in the history of this country,” Cele said this week. “And undoubtedly up to now, actions are speaking louder than words. Our success can be attributed to the security plan that is now proving to be a winning one.”

While many teams have been sent home, there are still plenty of fans routing for their team, with many more arriving on a daily basis.

“With numbers increasing as we are approaching the end of tournament. This leaves us with a mammoth task until the final whistle,” Cele said.

Since the beginning of the tournament a Joint Operational Committee has been meeting on a daily basis to ensure that security measures are adequately deployed.

With a staff complement of over 44 000 police members dedicated to the tournament, support from the South African Defence Force, Interpol and respective competing nation’s police services, the host nation has taken security seriously.

“There are 225 foreign police officials based here in Pretoria,” said Cele. “They are here in an advisory capacity to assist South African security agencies to have a better understanding of how fans from various countries behave.”

There have been a few minor incidents, which can be expected during a massive gathering of people such as the Fifa Word Cup™. However, the South African police have dealt with these efficiently. “World Cup security and normal policing are equally important, hence none was compromised,” said Cele. “Instead, our men and woman in blue went beyond the call of duty.”

The rate of investigations, arrests and prosecutions around tournament incidents has been increased, and Cele feels that this improved service will continue long after the tournament is over.

“The money, the training and the methodology are going to stay with the South African Police Service. We are now capable of continuing at this same pace after the World Cup. We must keep this momentum up for the benefit of the country.

“We are going to work hard for the last 10 matches,” Cele said. “We have re-committed ourselves to carry out our duties with diligence and pride, this we owe to South Africa, the African continent and the world.”

Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committee