18 January 2013

Nigeria/South Africa: South Africa Assures of Crime-Free Afcon

South African National Police Commissioner, Gen. Riah Phiyega, said on Thursday that all security arrangements have been perfected to ensure that the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) was crime-free.

Phiyega, who stated this at a news briefing in Pretoria, also confirmed that massive security and police operations will be carried out during the tournament.

She said all the security arrangements "for the event will be co-ordinated across government departments."

"We have thousands of personnel from dozens of departments actively on duty throughout five provinces, all eagerly awaiting the opening match," Phiyega said.

"The Justice Department, Crime Prevention and Security clusters will collaborate in trying to mirror the success of the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

"It is a concept that worked in 2010 and now it'll be implemented albeit on a reduced scale," the Police chief said.

She commended the Joint Operational and Intelligence structure (NATJOINT), for a job well done so far, in preventing crime at major sports events in the country.

Phiyega said daily briefings will be held to discuss the security aspects of the tournament.

Meanwhile, police authorities said that they are aware of plans by some commercial taxi operators to disrupt the tournament as they were not included in the planning processes.

Lt.-Gen. Elias Mawela said that the intelligence community "is well aware of the threat".

"The intelligence community briefed us about the intention of the taxi industry to disrupt the tournament.

"We know very well that once they say they will disrupt, they will disrupt. We do not take anything for granted. It will form part of our route security," Mawela added. (NAN)

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