Green light for 2010 security - Interpol

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Johannesburg - Interpol Secretary General, Ronald Noble. says they have no doubt that South Africa will be safe during the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

He says to date no terrorism threats have been directly linked to the 2010 spectacle.

Noble is in the country to assess the country's security plan before the Soccer World Cup in June, with special focus on the country's ports of entry.

"In our database, we've not yet found any terrorism or hooliganism threats directly linked to the 2010 FIFA World Cup," he said.

Noble said all Interpol member states had pledged to support South Africa host a safe and secure World Cup.

During the showpiece, he said Interpol will use highly technological devices to screen the passports of hundreds of thousands of visitors who will be streaming into all South African ports of entry.

This he said is not only aimed at denying people posing security threats to enter the country, but to crack down on organised crime, drug and human trafficking.

"We will be conducting the checks on the visitors because we know that heinous crimes such as terrorism and human trafficking are mainly linked to stolen or lost passports," he said.

He said all the 32 participating teams will have representatives at their international co-ordination centre during the event to share their respective country's security information.

South African Police Deputy Commissioner, Andre Pruis, said the country is ready to deal with any form of hooliganism during the World Cup.

He said the country has not received any direct terrorism threat.

"We are ready to deal with any form of hooliganism during the event. We've been working closely with France, Britain and the Netherlands to furnish us with personal information of individuals who might embark on actions of hooliganisms," he said.

Pruis said more than 8 000 police officers have been trained to deal with unruly crowds, adding that they have also refurbished their nyala's which are normally used when there are riots.

He said South Africa will also work with neighbouring countries if not the whole continent to ensure that the tournament is free from any form of criminal activity.

Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will patrol the country's borders during that time.

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