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April 29, 2010

South African police display ‘readiness’ for 2010 FIFA World Cup™

bheki cele saps

General Bheki Cele at Cape Town Stadium. Photos by Roy Barford

helen zille

Western Cape premier, Helen Zille

The South African Police Service (SAPS) today announced its “readiness” for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, with various displays at Cape Town Stadium.

Addressing the media, school groups, as well as thousands of police, military and security personnel, General Bheki Cele, National Commissioner of Police, said he was “satisfied that the World Cup in South Africa will be safe”.

Regarding police preparations, Cele said: “we are not ready today … we were ready yesterday”.

He added that the security teams for all 31 of the other participating nations had given South Africa’s security preparations “the thumbs up”.

Cele said that of the 190 000 South African Police Service personnel, 44 000 would be allocated to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. They would be joined by more police from around the world.

Demonstrations were held to show how police could effectively handle various crowd-control situations, from minor scuffles to riots, in the stands.

Air Force aircraft also flew over the stadium, proving that security would not be limited to ground level.

To commemorate the event, Cele and Western Cape premier, Helen Zille, released exactly 2010 balloons, which coloured the Cape Town sky.

Zille thanked Cele for choosing Cape Town to announce the police service’s readiness for the event, but said she was not surprised that he had done so.

Although dignitaries arrived late for the event at Cape Town Stadium, following a parade around the city centre, SAPS officers kept those in the stands entertained with a Police Pop Idols concert, showing that they were also capable of “busting a groove” in their uniforms.

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