No room for thuggery

THOSE naysayers whose only mission is to sow a winter of ill will against South Africa's competence to host an incident-free soccer World Cup are about to eat humble pie.

THOSE naysayers whose only mission is to sow a winter of ill will against South Africa's competence to host an incident-free soccer World Cup are about to eat humble pie.

They are too engrossed in their mischief to note that the 2010 hosts of the soccer spectacle have, at the helm of its security cluster, a no-nonsense triumvirate in police commissioner General Bheki Cele, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and his deputy Fikile Mbalula.

Were they as privy to our security plans as the proverbial fly on the wall, especially at gatherings where Cele and Mbalula speak, they'd know there would be no chance in hell for "marauding gangs of machete-wielding thugs" to imperil the June 11 to July 11 sporting bonanza.

Not during the watch of the hardened tough-talking trio.

Those peddlers of rumour, like British tabloid The Sun, would be best advised to heed Cele's words: this is going to be the safest World Cup ever.

And this is no idle boast - Cele can walk the talk.

For starters, our chief guests - the 31 competing nations, can sleep easy knowing their safety is guaranteed. There will be 44000 police officers on the streets whose boss, they know full well, does not "go around kissing criminals".

Each of the 43 heads of state expected to hit our shores will get personal security. Even across the border in Zimbabwe, where North Korea will be based, our eyes will be hawk-like.

Those planning a repeat of Cabinda and other sorts of mayhem will fail. Badly.

The General has spoken.

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