Pretoria - The hundreds of police officers tasked with ensuring that the 2010 FIFA World Cup goes off without a hitch - have been urged to make South Africa proud.
Giving the officers a pep talk before they left to take up their posts in and around Soccer City on Friday, ahead of the Opening Ceremony and historic first Opening Match on African soil, Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele told the officers that the entire world was watching and the safety of fans and South Africans rested in their hands.
He also reminded the policemen that it was their duty to serve and protect those in the country.
The uniformed officers lined up outside Soccer Stadium in the early morning cold Gauteng weather to hear the words of encouragement from Cele before they began duty.
Gauteng's MEC Khabisi Mosunkutu, who was also at the parade, said the officers had been given their orders and were ready for the World Cup.
"We are more than ready for this event. We want to urge citizens to have confidence in the police. Our visitors must know that they are in safe hands. All we ask is for them to cooperate and not to forget to put in place basic safety measures such as locking their valuables in a safe at the hotels," Mosunkutu added.
Traffic officials will be keeping a close eye on the roads and those who committed traffic violations will be dealt with, the MEC said.