Two bomb scares as world awaits 2010 final draw

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cape Town - Tension is building up in Cape Town, not just about the 2010 World Cup final draw - but due to bomb scares.

A foreign journalist was arrested on Friday after threatening to be in possession of explosives at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

Addressing the media shortly after the incident, Senior Superintendent Vish Naidoo said the journalist told security personnel that he had explosives in his bag. He then dropped the bag and tried to flee. He was subsequently arrested.

The SAPS explosives unit was deployed to the convention centre where a thorough search was conducted. They later declared the venue safe.

Naidoo said the journalist will be charged for contravening the South African Explosives Act. He refused to give the nationality of the journalist, saying that according to the SAPS Act, he was not allowed to divulge information on the suspect as investigations were still underway.

Naidoo said there was also a bomb scare at Cape Town International Airport earlier on Friday morning. A South African man was later arrested.

Naidoo has assured those attending the draw that security measures will be intensified to ensure that proceedings go according to plan.

Meanwhile, Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa and National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele assured members of the public that dedicated police personnel with 44 police vehicles would be tasked with patrolling 14 routes in and around Cape Town ahead of and during the draw.

They said there would also be air patrols by the South African Air Force and maritime patrols by the SA Navy and SA Police Service's border and sea units.

While police would patrol those areas where events were taking place as part of the Final Draw, police officers would also be based at hotels where team members and FIFA delegates were staying.

A joint intelligence co-ordinating committee, made up of police, the SA Secret Service and the National Intelligence Agency and the military intelligence unit would be on alert around the clock.

The security plan for the Final Draw has been in place since 25 November and will run until 10 December.

Cele, who said 1 000 police officers would be on duty at tomorrow's draw, pointed out that the police had spent R660m on security and added that an additional R640 million would be spent on security operations for 2010.

Of the current 183 000 members of the SAPS, 41 000 would be devoted to policing 2010 matches.