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By Ido Lekota | Apr 22, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

WITH 49 days left to kickoff the South African police have unveiled an elaborate plan to deliver the safest Fifa Soccer World Cup ever.

WITH 49 days left to kickoff the South African police have unveiled an elaborate plan to deliver the safest Fifa Soccer World Cup ever.

Part of the plan includes providing personal security for the estimated 43 heads of state expected, as well as the 31 teams taking part in the first world soccer spectacle to be held on the African continent.

Yesterday Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele said the plan would involve 44000 police officers as well as 6 to 8 security experts from the US, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

It will involve the police and members of state security as well as the Department of Home Affairs to deal with visa issues.

"We are ready. We believe we have done everything that we are supposed to do to ensure that we host one of the best, if not the best, World Cup ever," Cele said.

He said the police had signed a memorandum of understanding with Fifa in terms of which the security of all important visitors would be in the hands of the police.

The plan includes providing security on the routes to and from the airport; at the hotels; during transit to the stadiums as well as at training camps and bases.

Similar security will also be provided for the North Korean team that has its base in Harare, Zimbabwe.

"If anything happens to the North Koreans, Fifa will not ask Zimbabwe what happened, they will ask South Africa", Cele said.

"All nine international airports will be under the South African police as the first point of contact for those arriving in the country by air," he said.

The plan also includes providing extra security for games that are regarded as high risk.

For example, the game on June 12 between the US and England.

Part of the security on that day will include closing off the airspace over the host city with those seeking to use it having to apply for a special permit.

The security plan also includes deploying members of the South African National Defence Force at all the border posts around the country.

Cele said the plan was endorsed by the police chiefs of all the participating countries, as well as the heads of security of the various teams.

Meetings aimed at countering the negative campaign run by certain anti-South African lobby groups in France, Germany and Australia, were also held with the various international stakeholders

As part of crime prevention the SAPS will also have 27 teams of investigators as well as special courts where those arrested can be tried immediately.

lAlso see pages 8 and 9


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