Minister stresses need for co-operation. Relaxed border controls during next year’s Fifa World Cup did not mean relaxed security measures, National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele said yesterday.

“The first African soccer World Cup will take place in South Africa between June 11 and July 11, 2010,” Cele said at a Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Co-operation Organisation meeting in Joburg, where he took over as the body’s chairman.

“During this period, border controls are likely to be relaxed to allow for the smooth movement of people between and through our countries,” he stated.

“Although South Africa is a host country, the nature of the event requires that all of our security arrangements should be in a good shape.

“Crime-prevention and reactive capabilities must be on the same standard in all countries,” said Cele.

Cele added that police operations during the 2010 World Cup should not concentrate only on land borders.

“We must extend our operations to the sea and air environments for enhanced co-operation.

“The movement of spectators across our borders will entail not only co-operation between police officials, but also interaction with, and between, customs officials and the Department of Home Affairs, as well as other departments,” said Cele.

The next year was going to require “a lot of sacrifices” from all police chiefs, he added.

“Crime has become a transnational problem which no country – no matter what its resource capacity – can solve on its own.”

Cele said the region would strengthen partnerships in the next few years and introduce legislation throughout southern Africa “to attain co-operation”.

“All internal and cross-border anti-crime initiatives should be planned in consultation with crime intelligence agencies in order to deal a telling blow against the criminal element and crime syndicates,” he said. – Sapa.

DATED: 3rd September 2009