21 January 2013

South Africa: Natjoints Praised for Safe Afcon Opening Ceremony

Pretoria — The chairperson of the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints), Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, has congratulated all member departments on the role they played in ensuring that the opening ceremony and first two games of the 2013 Afcon took place in a peaceful, safe and secure environment.

"A massive security operation, coordinated by the Natjoints and our Gauteng provincial counterparts the Provjoints, was carried out over a 24-hour period and all aspects of this operation can confidently be declared successful," said Mawela at a debriefing session at the command base.

The Natjoints - comprising the South African Police Service, the South African National Defence Force, various Metro Police Departments, the intelligence community and other relevant departments - ensured that all key role players were escorted and protected throughout the entire event.

This included Heads of State, including ministers and deputy ministers, the teams, match officials and the 72 000 football fans who watched Bafana Bafana take on Cape Verde.

Various other security operations and safety exercises were carried out successfully, such as route and rail security, road safety, inner and outer stadium security, host city and accommodation security, airspace control, social responsibility, by-law enforcement and emergency medical services.

Other measures successfully implemented prior to the opening include border movement control, enforcing of customs, immigration, agricultural and health regulations and ensuring safe team movements. These operations, and many others, will continue until the end of the Afcon tournament.

"The inter-departmental cooperation was excellent, as it was during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and many other major events, and the spirit of camaraderie between Natjoints personnel and the public was motivating to our busy members," said Mawela.

"We would also like to remind visitors from other countries, especially those where yellow fever transmissions occur, that they will not be allowed into South Africa without proof of having had a yellow fever vaccination at least 10 days prior to travelling," he added.

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