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Security tightened ahead of draw

JOHANNESBURG, December 4- South Africa has beefed up security around Cape Town for the World Cup draw Friday to prevent any incident and reassure fans about visiting one of the world's most crime-plagued nations.CAPE_TOWN_SECURITY_With an average of 50 people killed every day, fears about crime have dogged South Africa since it was named host nation.

With Africa’s first World Cup just six months away, the country has been recruiting new police, putting them through tough training, and buying hi-tech new equipment.

About 100,000 people are expected to watch the draw at the Waterfront in Cape Town. More than 100 million people will likely watch the event on television in 200 countries around the world.

Keenly aware that any incident would only heighten the country’s reputation for crime, security forces have pulled out all the stops to ensure the draw runs smoothly — with 1,000 police on patrol around the event, armed forces onstandy and even tightened air security protocols for flights around the city.

"There is adequate security that has been put in place," South African Football Association president Kirsten Nematandani told AFP.

"We are more than happy with the security measures for Friday and preparations that have been put in place when the actual World Cup starts."

South Africa’s chief World Cup organiser Danny Jordaan said the country is spending 1.3 billion rands (177 million dollars, 117 million euro) to beef up security.

That includes the 41,000 police officers deployed for the event, but also new equipment including helicopters, water cannons, body armour and 100 new patrol vehicles.

South African Police Service (SAPS) spokeswoman Sally de Beer said 14 government departments have worked for two years to create the security plans for Friday’s draw and the month-long tournament that begins June 11.

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"The SAPS, the South African National Defence Force and intelligence agencies are ready to deal with any contingency, be it land on land, in the air or at sea," she said in a statement.

While South Africa’s general crime rate is alarming, Jordaan noted that the country has staged other high-profile sports events without incident.

"For 15 years, we have not failed anybody, South Africa’s track record in that is unquestionable," he told the Soccerex business conference this week.

"In 2009, we hosted the British and Irish Lions, then we had the Indian Premier League, Confederations Cup and then the International Cricket Council matches," he said.

"Currently the England Cricket team and the Barmy army is here and I have not had complaints. If you believe South Africans are aggressive, it’s a label which is unfair and unjust. There has not been a single incident of security during the hosting of these events."

"Societal crimes are not my responsibilities," Jordaan said. "Events crime are my responsibilities. Events crime starts from arrival at the airport, fan parks and venue security."

Since taking office in May, South African President Jacob Zuma has taken an agressive new tone about fighting crime, sparking a national debate about how much force police should use in chasing criminals.

With parliament mulling greater leeway for police to use force, debate over a so-called "shoot-to-call" intensified last month with the accidental shooting death of a three-year-old boy, killed as officer chased a murder suspect.

Zuma on Tuesday urged South Africans to welcome the 450,000 foreign fans expected for the World Cup.

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"Welcome visitors who come to be with us, handle them with care," he said.

"We expect that everyone who comes here must go away without a single complaint," he added.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Delta4

    June 23, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Damn Right – for once, bro! Bravo!

  2. mazumbuko

    June 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    If Uhuru and Ruto are innocent why postpone the trials and not ask for a speedy trial so that the country can move on?

    • george mwaura

      June 24, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      What do you mean by move on.The reality is that our live go on as usual with a lot of optimism for the future.seriously, how do those trials affect you as an individual?
      wambugu’s article is excellent and one wishes our politicians could rally around castigating the west,s duplicity on this matter.I am dissapointed that the momentum started by the A.U is being allowed to ebb away just like that yet there was genuine expectation of extracting of massive capital from it.

  3. Duncan Muchina

    June 24, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    A masterpiece! Keep them flowing bro!

  4. James Gitonga

    June 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Wat a brilliant observation!

  5. Mwakideo Ngao

    June 25, 2013 at 11:27 am

    You were always a Jubilee mole in CORD. Good riddance.

    • Wambugu Mkenya

      June 27, 2013 at 1:37 am

      If that the true, CORD got to be a loser’s party. How can CORD be so foolish, foolish enough that Jubilee could come inside the heart of the party and plant a mole as director of CORD field’s operations. I wouldn’t in that case trust CORD with anything leave alone running the country. Now you know CORD got beat if you believe what you just said.

      • Mwakideo Ngao

        June 28, 2013 at 9:46 pm

        Thieves always have the best explanations…and excuses.

  6. patriot

    June 25, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Kenya took itself to the ICC. Accept that and move on. The US did not bring ICC to Kenya. It is one thing for politicians to peddle these lies because politicians live by lying. But people who pretend to know better should not lie to us and to themselves. Those who are brave enough to kill others and have children slaughtered like goats should be brave enough to defend themselves in a court of law instead of crying like babies.

    • Wambugu Mkenya

      June 27, 2013 at 1:39 am

      They are not crying like babies. They are in the court of law digging out the truth for folks like you.

  7. Filis Fog

    June 26, 2013 at 9:02 am

    “If Uhuru and Ruto are innocent why postpone the trials and not ask for a speedy trial so that the country can move on?”

    Mazumbuko, you failed to grasp the main argument: Gbagbo had been bribed with Professorial job to give up his pursuit of Presidency but declined to take the bribe so he ended up in Hague ; Kibaki /Raila were given the option of a coalition government or else they go to Hague and took the bribe.- others ended up in Hague on their bahalf; but more importantly, UhuRuto were told not to stand for leadership in Kenya and leave it to Raila but they declined; so their court cases must go on irrespective of the fact that they have brought peace in the country. Cant you not see the hypocrisy and double standards?

  8. bullstefan

    June 28, 2013 at 11:08 am

    its unfortunate that US and Obama are still wallowing in despair over the fact that we chose sovereign self determination instead of patronage of foreign powers,even the perceived ‘consequences’ could not dissuade,coz we have come of age to make sober political decisions,especially if it means safeguarding our sovereignty that was bought by the blood of our forefathers

  9. Bea Houseoffashion

    June 29, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    What on earth is this fool talking about? lol

  10. dubai75

    July 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    wewe iko nini na uma wewe kwenda uko?

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