Police on the ball during World Cup

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pretoria - On the eve of the biggest sporting event in the world, South African police has assured visitors and locals that they have nothing to fear.

While all efforts will be directed to ensuring that the World Cup goes off smoothly and soccer players and fans are safe, normal police services will continue.

Government spokesman Themba Maseko said only 40 000 of the country's 190 000 police officers have been allocated to World Cup operations.

Security officials from the countries of the 32 teams participating in the tournament will also provide support for the local officers during the World Cup.

"Therefore 150 000 police officers will be available to continue with normal policing. Policing of the country and ensuring the safety and security of all within it remains a 24-hour operation," Maseko said.

He said government was confident that the South African Police Service (SAPS) was ready to fulfill its mandate during the World Cup.

"We appeal to citizens and visitors to also exercise care for their personal safety and those around them.

"Working together we can ensure a safe and secure tournament for all."