Cele sleeps easy about Cup draw security
‘Concentrate on beautiful game’
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”.
STRATEGIES: Bheki Cele