POLICE in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday said the start to the World Cup in the region was "incident free".
Police spokesperson Phindile Radebe said apart from the fracas with security workers and their employees outside the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Sunday night no incident relating to the soccer was reported to police.
"Since Friday's opening of the World Cup we have been on patrol throughout the province. We are on standby and prepared. In addition to the routine patrol by our officers we have an additional 3700 officers on duty."
Radebe said the police were working closely with local, national and international agencies, including local metro police and security companies.
She said the police were constantly being briefed on the situation and criminals would not be tolerated.
Radebe also confirmed that a 75-year-old man who collapsed and died - while on his way to the Moses Mabhida Stadium for the match between Australia and Germany on Sunday night - was a local man from Overport in Durban.
He died of a heart attack about 800m from the stadium. His name has not been revealed.
Meanwhile, international dignitaries are overwhelmed by the province and 2010 host city Durban, saying it was clear that the preparations and hard work by the region's leaders had paid off.
At an event at the Cargo Hold restaurant at Ushaka Marine World, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize hosted more than 200 dignitaries from across the world.
The visitors, many in their soccer regalia, hailed from embassies, consulates, football federations and businesses organisations from all over the world. It was the premier's intention to showcase KwaZulu-Natal as one of the leading provinces in South Africa.
"Nowhere in the world could we have received a warmer welcome. I am absolutely overawed at your hospitality and the efforts you have gone to," said Dieter W Haller, ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, who is stationed in Pretoria.
The honorary consul for Portugal in Durban, Tony de Souza. was another excited guest who congratulated the premier.
"I hope to see Bafana play against Portugal in the final," he beamed.
In welcoming the delegates, Mkhize hoped that after the euphoria of the games were over the fans would return to visit the province.
"We are honoured that you are here," he said.
Mkhize thanked Fifa for allowing South Africa to host the World Cup, adding that this year coincided with the release from incarceration of former president Nelson Mandela 20 years ago.
Overall transport systems in the province and city appeared to be operating well. About 30000 fans made use of the local train service in Durban to get to the stadium.