Zuma dismisses fears over World Cup security

President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday dismissed fears of any attack at the Soccer World Cup later this year, promising South Africa would host a safe competition that would leave a legacy of economic development.

Gunmen attacked Togo’s soccer squad at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this month, killing two members of the delegation and raising questions in some quarters over security at the world’s biggest single-sport event in South Africa in June and July.

But Zuma said it would be wrong to compare security in his country with Angola, which he said had “just emerged from war” and was four hours’ flight time from South Africa.

“South Africa has a clear plan in terms of security,” Zuma told delegates at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos. “Our police force, aided by the army and other security elements, are very clear and ready.

“Nothing will happen.”


South Africa does not suffer from political violence like Angola’s Cabinda enclave, where separatists who have fought a low-level war for three decades opened fire on the Togolese team bus.

However, crime is a major concern for the World Cup hosts.

The security budget has not been made public, but 52 000 police officers will be on duty for the month-long World Cup, which begins on June 11. At least R13-billion has been spent on new stadiums and infrastructure.

Zuma said the competition would showcase South Africa as a trade, business and tourism destination, and that infrastructure projects ahead of the World Cup had boosted the economy.

The experience of preparing the country to host the competition also left it well-placed to continue “a very huge programme of infrastructure development for the next five years”, Zuma said. — Reuters

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Indians in South Africa, a historical excerpt

In the book, The Indian Africans, academic Kiru Naidoo explores the society of colonial Natal in the late 1800s to early 1900

A colossus with feet of clay

South Africa is disproportionately targeted by cybercriminals. Digital attacks call for digital solutions and technology is a the prime weapon in this fight

The president, the preacher and the great escape

Malawi’s new president was furious after Shepherd Bushiri’s dramatic disappearance from South Africa

Patel: South Africa on target to attract R1.2-trillion in investments

The trade minister says the country is on track to reach more than R1-trillion worth of investments over five years, despite Covid-19 disruptions

South Africa must revisit and refresh its idea of itself

Covid has propelled citizens into feelings of a new shared identity in which the historical force of ‘whiteness’ is fading into irrelevance

Institutions of higher learning should commemorate their casualties

The bust of Matikweni Nkuna at Tshwane University of Technology is an example of how we should honour those who fought for equal access to education
Advertising

Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: Frank Chikane on the rainbow where colours never...

Reverend Frank Chikane has just completed six years as the chairperson of the Kagiso Trust. He speaks about corruption, his children’s views and how churches can be mobilised

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

More top stories

Shabnim Ismail bowls her way into the record books Down...

The night before Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) final, fiery South African fast bowler Shabnim Ismail lay awake pondering how...

Hawks make arrest in matric maths paper leak

Themba Daniel Shikwambana, who works at a printing company, was granted bail and is due to return to court in January

Andile Lungisa: Early parole for the house of truth

Disgraced Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa calls for a change of leadership in the ANC immediately after being released on parole

War of words at Zondo commission: ‘Grow up Mr Gordhan,...

The cross-examination of the public enterprises minister by Tom Moyane’s lawyers at the state capture inquiry went on well into overtime on Monday evening
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…