South Africa is ready to host Friday’s FIFA Soccer World Cup final draw, the police say; while the SA Air Force has declared a no-fly zone over parts of Cape Town and Robben Island for certain times this week.
Police World Cup spokeswoman Director Sally de Beer says the country’s security forces, “supported by other government departments, the Western Cape Provincial Government and Cape Town’s local government, are fully prepared to safeguard the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final Draw, due to take place on Friday…”
She adds the 14 government departments that fall under the umbrella of the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) “have been working tirelessly for years to ensure that South Africa hosts a safe and secure … World Cup”.
“The South African Police Service, the South African Defence Force and the intelligence agencies are ready to decisively deal with any contingency, be it on land, in the air or at sea.”
De Beer notes the NATJOINTS established a National Joint Operational Centre (NJOC) in Cape Town yesterday that will coordinate security until next Monday. She further adds they “will work together with the Provincial Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (PROVJOINTS) – as well as with FIFA and the Local Organising Committee – “to ensure that all security obligations are met efficiently.”
The police and the SA National Defence Force “will deploy some of their key units and state-of-the-art equipment and will engage an inter-departmental strategy in order to secure the various activities leading up to the draw, as well as the final draw…”
The police spokeswoman says the joint security forces are striving to ensure maximum safety for the event with minimum disruption to the community.
Regarding the temporary flight restrictions, she says the SA Civil Aviation Authority has already issued a notice (www.caa.co.za) informing the aviation sector of temporary flight restrictions between this past Sunday and next Sunday.
“This means that the crew of all flights, with the exception of scheduled flights and state flights, must apply to the South African Air Force for screening and authorisation at least 24 hours prior to commencing flight.”
Similar restrictions applied during this year’s FIFA Confederations Cup.
“There will, in general, be increased security forces activity in the Cape Town area and we request the community to join in the spirit of South Africa’s theme for the 2010 FIFA World Cup ‘Ke Nako – Celebrate Africa’s Humanity’, De Beer said.
The Times newspaper on Friday reported national police commissioner Bheki Cele saying that when it came to the World up, this was “one area… where I sleep like a baby.”
He added: "Let’s be clear on it, 2010 is safe in the hands of South Africans. And let’s stop this thing of focusing on security. Let’s focus on the beautiful game."
The paper said Cele added those with issues about South African security should "go somewhere else, where people are shooting helicopters, where drug lords are shooting helicopters". The paper did not add this was a reference to violence in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazil will be hosting the next World up in 2014.
Cele was speaking at the opening of the NJOC that boasts a state-of-the-art video monitoring room, where operators can tap into closed circuit cameras across the city. They are also able to bring up feed from cameras mounted in police vehicles.
PROVJOINTS Director Preston Voskuil said the operators currently had access to about 1000 cameras at 10 "sites", including Cape Town’s camera network.
Voskuil said the system was the first of its kind in South Africa.
"We are taking existing infrastructure and we will have the ability to patch in where and when we want, based on crime intelligence, early warning, crime patterns and events.
"We want to target places at risk, public places. You can put a camera on every corner. You can’t afford to put a policeman on every corner."
|Since becoming a democracy in 1994, South Africa has hosted and secured more than 140 major events, including inter alia: