Togo attack no risk to 2010 - Cele

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pretoria - The attack on the Togo national soccer team in Angola will not risk South Africa's security measures during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, says National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele.

There has been speculation particularly from overseas media that the attack, which happened on Friday in the city of Cabinda, will jeopardize South Africa's hosting of the world cup.

However, Cele, who arrived in South Africa on Monday morning from Angola, said South Africa was not at risk, adding that all the "security gaps" were tightened and the country is ready to host the much anticipated sporting event.

He said there was no need for panic, adding that the political situation in that part of Angola - which is thousands of kilometers from South Africa - is not the same as in this country.

He cited a 2006 bombing in Spain and the underbridge bombing in Britain ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Germany, saying no one made noise then. "So why are they making noise now," Cele asked.

"The media has now shifted their focus from Angola and now questions South Africa's security measures ahead of the World Cup, why?"

Cele was in Angola to attend a meeting with other police chiefs from various African states ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament which kicked off last night.

On Friday, the Togo team was traveling by bus in the city of Cabinda when it was attacked. Two team officials and the Angolan bus driver were killed, while several other players were injured.

Cele visited the scene with his counterparts to assess the situation in the area. The Togolese attack occurred five minutes away from DRC boarder.

"It was a sad situation, the mood was a bit down and a decision was taken to fly the team back home although some players wanted to proceed with the tournament.

"Through this accident we have learned a lesson and we want to assure the world that South Africa is 100 percent ready for the World Cup," Cele said.

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