OR Tambo ready to welcome 2010 guests

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Johannesburg - The OR Tambo International Airport stands ready to receive international tourists during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, says Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

"We are satisfied with the progress made at the airport and I am confident that the world cup will be safe. Our law enforcement agencies are ready for the 2010 FIFA World Cup," he said.

Mthethwa was visiting the country's largest port of entry on Tuesday as part of his ongoing campaign to check the state of readiness of all ports of entry, including airports and borders before the mega tournament.

The minister, who was accompanied by his deputy, Fikile Mbalula and Police Commissioner Bheki Cele, urged police to work hard and smart.

He warned criminals to be very afraid of the police, adding that they were prepared for any eventuality. "We are not their friends (criminals). We are out to get them and we will always make them run."

With only a few months before the kick off to the soccer world cup, the police minister urged people to leave the issue of security to the law enforcement.

"We are ready to host the most successful world cup ever; we've an effective team in place, whatever comes up will be dealt with.

"We are saying to the people of the world, come and have a fantastic and fabulous time in our country," Mthethwa said.

Police Commissioner Cele said government spent R640 million to purchase technological equipment to fight crime during the world cup and beyond.

He also warned that police were well-trained to control crowds, especially soccer hooligans.

South Africa is expecting more than 400 000 soccer fans during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in June and most of these tourists will arrive in the country through the OR Tambo International Airport.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup will kick off on 11 June until 11 July.