Security forces in World Cup lockdown


The security forces will tomorrow activate the National Joint Operational Centre (NATJOC) and Provincial Joint Operational Centres (PROVJOC) for the FIFA soccer World Cup as the 44 000 police and 9000 military personnel allocated to Operation Kgwele deploy for the event running from June 11 to July 11.

The police budget for securing the soccer spectacular involving 32 teams at nine venues runs to R1.3 billion while the South African National Defence Force is spending R235 million on the event and another R135 million on border patrol.

The police budget includes R665 million in equipment including six Robinson R44 Raven II helicopters, worth more than R30 million, 10 water cannon, mobile command vehicles, 300 mobile cameras, 54 BMW patrol vehicles, French body armour as well s a R2.7 million bomb disposal robot and bomb disposal suits that cost R400 000 per suit. Cele said not all the technology acquired would be declared, adding that if all was disclosed hostile forces could then take countermeasures.

The remainder will be spent on accommodation, meals, overtime and transportation for deployed security forces. Of the 44 000 police 8500 are allocated to public order policing.

The security forces have been preparing for the event for the last four years and have held numerous exercises, including six in the Shield series to practice various scenarios and contingencies. Last June’s Confederations Cup also served as a trial run for the upcoming event.

National police commissioner General Bheki Cele has said eight of the 32 teams participating in the tournament are classified as “high risk”. The match between the US and England, in Rustenburg on June 12, has been classified as “category 1”, which demands maximum security, The Times reported last month.

Fighter aircraft as well as 39 SA Air Force and police air wing helicopters are assigned to the tourney as well as State Security operatives, air marshals, 27 teams of detectives and 54 special courts established in host cities. Cele said between six and eight police officers from each of the participating countries have been asked to attend to advise on managing their fans.

Cele last month also said that all ten stadiums will be handed over to the police on May 24 to check for security threats before passing control to FIFA.

Pic: Police commissioner General Bheki Cele inspecting police officers taked with World Cup duties.