Criminals, who are contemplating using the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup to enrich themselves, have been strongly warned. Police will leave no stone unturned in their pursuit for safety of citizens and visitors; those who commit such acts, will face the wrath of the law to its fullest.
This is a stern warning from the Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa and General Bheki Cele during the official launch of the 2010 FIFA World Cup readiness programme as well as the SAPS Good Ambassador Campaign at Cape Town stadium today. The Good Ambassador Campaign is mainly aimed at instilling the spirit of good ambassadorship, not only to you as SAPS members, but also to all citizens of the country.
"We appeal to you (police) to go beyond your normal call of duty and provide assistance irrespective of what sector it is that the information is required. To us as the law enforcement agencies, the expectations from society and indeed from thousands of visitors who will be visiting our country are crystal clear."
"Society looks upon us to fight the evil deeds of crime and corruption. To succeed in this duty, we must ourselves be upright. We therefore have a responsibility to examine and audit our all-round performance. We must ensure that our performance is beyond reproach for us to win the confidence of the people we serve," he added.
"Police stations are the face of our policing effort. The treatment we give to people who visit police stations in search of some help leaves lasting impressions not only about a particular police station, but about Police Force as a whole. Therefore, our police stations must be models of excellence. We shall work to identify both the good and bad performers," added Minister Mthethwa.
"Our 2010 security plan was well received by security experts from 32 participating countries in Zurich-Switzerland and again by 188 Interpol member countries in France. To this end the South African Police Service will deploy about 46 000 members in all nine host cities and other strategic areas; this includes all ports of entry airports, sea ports and all 54 land ports. Team security has been given a priority on route, in base camps, venue specific hotels and stadia," said Cele.
"We have recommitted ourselves to serve our country with diligence and vigour, this we owe to South Africa, the African continent and the world. SAPS members will leave no stone unturned during the world cup tournament to safeguard our visitors and fellow South Africans. We will continue to squeeze the space for criminals to zero hence we are ready to deliver a safe and secure world cup not today, not tomorrow but yesterday," concluded Cele.
The minister further utilised the occasion to caution against those in society, who utilise the 2010 FIFA World Cup as a token to hold government at ransom in order to achieve their desires and goals. "Over the past months, we have noted certain entities of our society, some wittingly or unwittingly, making empty and disturbing threats linked to this event that is if their demands are not addressed."
He stated that while people have constitutionally-entrenched rights to negotiate, express their grievances and ultimately march, all these should be done within the framework of the legislation. Police will not tolerate criminal acts that are disguised as service delivery protests or labour-related demands. "We will unapologetically deal with such criminal acts decisively and we require no permission from anyone. We want to reiterate that police will take no kindness to such cowardly acts."
He added that the SAPS security plan will also address any form of terrorist acts. "We will not allow this to happen in our home soil. We are prepared for any eventuality. Any type of deviant behaviour be it criminality or terrorism will be dealt with swiftly and with no mercy."