7 April 2010
Interpol is confident that South Africa will be safe and secure during the upcoming 2010 Fifa World Cup, says the organisation’s secretary-general, Ronald Noble.
Noble, who was in South Africa last week to assess the country’s security plan for the World Cup, with special focus on the country’s ports of entry, said that no terrorism threats had been directly linked to the 2010 spectacle to date.
“In our database, we’ve not yet found any terrorism or hooliganism threats directly linked to the 2010 Fifa World Cup,” he said.
Noble said all Interpol member states had pledged to help South Africa host a safe and secure World Cup.
During the showpiece, he said Interpol would use advanced technological devices to screen the passports of hundreds of thousands of visitors who will be streaming through South Africa’s ports of entry.
This, Noble said, was not only aimed at preventing people who posed security threats from entering the country, but also at cracking down on organised crime and drug and human trafficking.
“We will be conducting the checks on the visitors because we know that crimes such as terrorism and human trafficking are mainly linked to stolen or lost passports.”
Noble said that all 32 participating teams would have representatives at Interpol’s international co-ordination centre during the event to share their respective country’s security information.
South African deputy police commissioner Andre Pruis said the country was ready to deal with any form of hooliganism during the World Cup.
He said the country has not received any direct terrorism threat.
“We are ready to deal with any form of hooliganism during the event. We’ve been working closely with France, Britain and the Netherlands to furnish us with personal information of individuals who might embark on actions of hooliganism,” he said.
Pruis said more than 8 000 police officers have been trained to deal with unruly crowds, and that the police had refurbished their Nyala anti-riot vehicles.
He said South Africa would also work with its neighbouring countries to ensure that the tournament was free from any form of criminal activity. Members of the South African National Defence Force will patrol the country’s borders during the event.