South African police to assist Kenyan counterparts

Published: Saturday, February 8, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Cape Town: South African police will help their Kenyan counterparts ensure security at World Cup games in Nairobi, police said on Friday. "We will be sending members of the police's special task team, intervention units, as well as a bomb disposal unit," Deputy National Police Commissioner Andre Pruis told reporters. "The personnel will be accompanied by a fixed wing aircraft equipped with surveillance equipment, as well as a command vehicle," he added.

Pruis said South African police were also cooperating with their Zimbabwean counterparts, and believed that "the Zimbabwean police are well prepared to handle anything, with their plans fitting into the master security plan" for the World Cup. Safety around matches scheduled in Zimbabwe has been a major issue in the weeks leading up to the World Cup, as England was on Friday waiting for a final appeal to be heard on its hopes of having its February 13 match in Harare moved to South Africa.

Regarding security arrangements in South Africa, Pruis said numerous "dry runs" during the Sri Lankan and Pakistan tours to the country over the last few months had proved successful, the local news agency SAPA reported. He said thousands of police would be deployed to more than 150 events, including matches, concerts and banquets. "We are going to be uncompromising on the application of the law of the land, but we will be very friendly in applying it," Pruis said. "We will have mobile police stations at the stadiums where we will entertain those transgressing the law and those really infringing on other spectators watching the matches," he warned.


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