'criminals will be dealt with'
SOCCER hooligans, criminals and terrorists will be properly dealt with by the South African Police Service, General Bheki Cele said.
Cele said yesterday the reported threats of terrorism believed to have been made by a group in North Africa had been "investigated and dealt with".
He was speaking from the King Shaka International Airport where police readiness ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup was being showcased.
Cele said 44000 police officers would be ready to deal with any crisis.
He added that police from all the 31 participating countries would also have a presence during the tournament that's held every four years.
"By May 24, all agencies will be based in the country.
"We have invited all participating countries to send between six and eight officers to work with us. The United States has requested more and we are still negotiating with them as to whether we will allow it or not," he said.
He said "hooligans or disruptive people" had already been identified and that international police agencies would be here in an advisory capacity to deal with them.
"We have already identified a few of them and we are not going to let them into the country.
"We know that they have started moving to other countries to try to make their way into South Africa, but we are ready for them," Cele said.
The police's bomb disposal, tactical, search and rescue units, snipers, hostage negotiators and the dog unit were on the scene to perform a mock plane hijacking.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize and transport, community safety and liaison MEC Willies Mchunu also attended the event at the cargo holding facility of the Dube Tradeport, the home of the airport.
Mchunu said: "We are ready to act over and above the criminal activities we already face in the country.
"This will leave us with a highly capable police force post-2010. Our intelligence services have been strengthened."
Stars from SABC1's soapie Generations were also present at the event.