/ 2 December 2009

Cele: 2010 plans meet world standard

Security plans for the Fifa World Cup meet international standards and have been used as a benchmark by the United Nations, national police commissioner Bheki Cele said on Wednesday.

”I’m confident to announce that all our plans are under way and South Africa will host the event with diligence and pride, knowing that our security plans meet international standards and have been used as a benchmarking model by the United Nations,” he told representatives of the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (Sarpcco) in Durban.

The World Cup final draw was expected to take place in Cape Town on Friday.

Border control was likely to be relaxed next year to allow the smooth movement of people through Sarpcco countries during the soccer tournament.

All Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries were Sarpcco members. Cele, who is Sarpcco’s chairperson, said the movement of spectators across South Africa’s borders would require improved cooperation between customs officials, home affairs and other departments.

”Although South Africa is a host country, the nature of the event requires that all security arrangements should be in good shape.”

Cele emphasised that crime was an international problem and that countries must stand together to fight it.

”I would hate to see crime do better than us. We don’t want to be beaten by crime. This region must make sure that criminals enjoy no oxygen. There must be no space for criminals.”

Cele stressed the police’s intelligence unit needed to improve to meet the challenges of organised crime.

Vehicle theft in the SADC region was on the increase and had to be ”dealt with”. Police needed to establish a close network to close gaps in which criminals were operating freely in the region.

He said HIV/Aids in the police force should be permanently on the agenda.

”HIV is a very serious issue. We might find ourselves fighting a difficult battle if this is not taken seriously.”

He was aware there were people coming into the country during the World Cup to engage in illegal activities.

”We are making preparations to face all types of crime, including drugs and human trafficking.”

Prostitution was also going to be a problem.

”For now we will do what the law tells us, which is prostitution is a criminal offence,” said Cele. — Sapa