2010 stab-proof vests 'opportunistic business'

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pretoria - There is no need for soccer fans to purchase stab-proof vests to wear during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, says Police Department spokesperson, Zweli Mnisi.

"We are concerned and disgusted by opportunistic business ventures which seek to undermine our safety and security efforts as a country.

"We advise people to ignore such business ventures which only seek to serve the minority. With our comprehensive 2010 World Cup plan, we remain confident that the FIFA World Cup will be safe and secure," Mnisi told BuaNews on Monday.

He reiterated that government had put in place a comprehensive 2010 World Cup security plan in partnership with FIFA, other government departments and relevant role players.

This comes after a UK-based company said they would be selling "stab proof" vests to tourists attending the 2010 FIFA World Cup in June to make them feel safer in South Africa.

According to media reports, the company rented out premises near OR Tambo International Airport where the vests would be made available to tourists.

Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 World Cup unit at the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, Godfrey Nkwane told BuaNews that international soccer stars, who arrived in South Africa during the 2010 Final Draw last year felt safe and secure.

"Even David Beckham when he was here for the final draw of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, he was not wearing either bullet or stab proof vests. We dismiss this type of business," he said

Nkwane said there was no need for soccer fans to buy stab-proof vests as they will be safely protected at their respective hotels, entertainment areas and stadiums.

"Maradona arrived in our country (today) without wearing either bullet or stab proof vests. We have adequate security measures to protect both citizens and international tourists.

"There is no need to purchase stab proof vests. We expect people to wear their respective national team's jersey since we don't foresee any trouble," he said.