The National Joint Operational Centre (NATJOC) is now fully operational. The centre became fully operational at one minute past midnight in the country’s capital city yesterday morning.
All security operations relating to the 2010 FIFA soccer World Cup – including the close protection of the 32 teams and the FIFA family, as well as various visiting heads of state and dignitaries, policing at ports of entry, route security, inner city security, stadium security, air and maritime defence and general crime prevention duties – will be commanded from the NATJOC.
NATJOC spokeswoman Brigadier Sally de Beer says the centre, situated at an undisclosed military base in Pretoria, is equipped with the most sophisticated technology at South Africa’s disposal. In the small hours of yesterday morning, operations officers of the South African Police Service, South African National Defence Force, the various metro police, intelligence agencies and representatives of various government departments, began the first of many shifts that will see the centre staffed continuously for the next eight weeks.
De Beer says the NATJOC answers to the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS), which was mandated by Cabinet to secure this major international event. “The South African Police Service is the lead department of the NATJOINTS, but the support and assistance of all partners and role players will ensure that security is optimal at all venues and that law enforcement is visible without being intrusive,” she says.
The NATJOINTS reports to a Directors General Committee comprising of the National Commissioner of the SAPS, the Chief of the SANDF, as well as the Directors General of the intelligence agencies and other Government departments.
Provincial Joint Operational Centres (PROVJOC’s), which will be fully functional in all nine Provinces by this weekend and will function in a similar manner to that of the NATJOC, De Beer adds.
“The NATJOINTS is also very proud to announce that an International Police Cooperation Centre has also been established at a venue in Pretoria at which police officials from various playing and neighbouring countries are being hosted and will perform duties in support of the South African Police Service.
Of the 31 playing countries besides South Africa, 27 of their police services have sent representatives who will deploy with the SAPS – both in uniform and in plain clothes within and outside the various stadia. “These police officials will perform non-executive tasks (that is, without the power of arrest) but will be of great assistance to the SAPS especially in terms of liaising with their country’s fans and identifying any form of disruptive behaviour.
“Representatives from various of our neighbouring countries in the Southern African Region have also arrived and reported for duty at the International Police Cooperation Centre. Their function will be to coordinate information between the countries, especially in terms of the movement of fans across our common borders and coordinated cross-border crime combating operations,” De Beer says.
The NATJOC will, in addition, liaise closely and continuously with FIFA and the Organising Committee as well as with other police centres which are linked to operations.
The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, General Bheki Cele, inspected the NATJOC facility yesterday morning and encouraged those working there to give of their very best and to make the most of the “once in a lifetime opportunity”.
“Within a few short weeks, the rest of the world will almost cease to exist – South Africa will be the world”, said Cele. “It is up to all of you who will be making security decisions and commanding the troops on the ground to lead the way and set an example, to ensure the success of this tournament. Ke Nako – the time has arrived, make South Africa proud”, he said.