angola knew of possible attack

THE Local Organising Committee has again reiterated that the Fifa World Cup in June will be an incident-free event.

LOC chief executive Danny Jordaan and Lieutenant Vejay Ramlakan of the South African National Defence Force delivered the message at a briefing in Johannesburg yesterday.

Regarding the shooting of the Togolese national team last Friday in Cabinda, Angola, Jordaan said it was wrong for South Africa to be condemned for something that did not even happen in the country.

"The incident in Angola has absolutely nothing to do with South Africa. If there is a security breach in Finland, you will not ask England for an explanation. Bombs went off in England but the World Cup went ahead in Germany. People are applying double standards," Jordaan said.

He said the government had invested R1,3billion in security.

Jordaan said Angola knew for years that staging Africa's premier football tournament in the restive enclave of Cabinda posed a security risk.

"It is a responsibility of the host nation to deal with those issues," said Jordaan, who led a technical team to Angola in 2006 to assess its readiness for the tournament, on behalf of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

All the concerns about the tournament were included in a report that was handed over to CAF, he said.

"We must be judged on reality, not on perception. We hosted 147 major international events since 1994 and we didn't have any incidents," he said.

Ramlakan said everything was in place to host a successful World Cup without any security breaches.

"We have been working non-stop for the last four years preparing for the World Cup. We have benchmarked our efforts against those of Germany and Korea and our level of readiness is higher than theirs," Ramlakan said.

"We are ready for anything. We have been sharing information with the rest of the world on safety because the military has no secrets when it comes to these types of events."

He later told Sowetan that people have a right to voice their concerns but assured them that everything is in place to ensure their safety.

"We understand people's concerns and fears, and they are right to raise them, but we plan for these events. The international community has faith in us, otherwise why would they send the IPL (Indian Premier League) matches to South Africa," he said.