Cele sleeps easy about Cup draw se­cu­rity

‘Con­cen­trate on beau­ti­ful game’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - BIANCA CAPAZORIO

NA­TIONAL Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Bheki Cele is so con­fi­dent of se­cu­rity ar­range­ments around next week’s World Cup draw and the tour­na­ment that he is able to “sleep like a baby”.

At a pa­rade to launch the po­lice’s crime preven­tion plans for the hol­i­days as well as for the draw and the tour­na­ment, na­tional Po­lice Min­is­ter Nathi Mthethwa urged lo­cals and vis­i­tors alike to “con­cen­trate on the beau­ti­ful game”.

“Let those re­spon­si­ble for law en­force­ment have sleep­less nights,” he said, which prompted Cele to say that when it came to 2010 “I sleep like a baby”.

On Fri­day the world will fo­cus on Cape Town as the draw takes place at 7pm at the CTICC. Around 3 000 dig­ni­taries and me­dia will watch, while a fur­ther 150 mil­lion peo­ple will watch glob­ally on TV.

The fes­tive sea­son plans in­clude a num­ber of strate­gies and a spe­cific fo­cus on ag­gra­vated rob­beries, al­co­hol and drug abuse, sales of stolen prop­erty, bor­der con­trol, firear m con­trol and crimes against women and chil­dren, said Cele.

Po­lice of­fi­cers marched and hun­dreds of po­lice ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing bikes, the Ghost Squad cars, bi­cy­cles and even jet­skis were pa­raded through the city as part of the launch of “Op­er­a­tion Duty Calls”.

Mthethwa said lo­cals and vis­i­tors alike would be treated to a “safe and se­cure” World Cup draw.

The new West­ern Cape law en­force­ment con­trol cen­tre in Long­mar­ket Street will play an in­te­gral part in achiev­ing this. Hi-tech equip­ment will en­able of­fi­cers to keep track of any crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties us­ing, among other things, closed-cir­cuit cam­eras across the city and in ve­hi­cles.

Mthethwa said South Africa had hosted over 140 big in­ter­na­tional events over a num­ber of years, all with high lev­els of suc­cess, and the World Cup draw and the tour­na­ment it­self would be no dif­fer­ent.

Cele said 2010 se­cu­rity had been ex­haus­tively planned. He had met the sec­re­tary gen­eral of In­ter­pol and had been in con­tact with all the par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries’ law en­force­ment agen­cies. “Be­tween two and 10 of­fi­cers from each coun­try will be in­volved in the prepa­ra­tion and the op­er­a­tions.”

Asked about news re­ports of a pos­si­ble al-Qaeda ter­ror­ist cell op­er­at­ing in Cape Town plan­ning to dis­rupt 2010, Mthethwa said the US em­bassy, which closed in Cape Town for a few days ear­lier this year, was op­er­at­ing again, which was proof that the po­lice had done their jobs. There would be “no peo­ple run­ning amok”.


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