We are more than ready to protect the world, says Bheki Cele

You are commanded to go out and make the world feel safe as South Africa begins the mammoth task of hosting the Brics Summit.

These are the words of Police Minister Bheki Cele during his address to law-enforcement teams who gathered in Sandton on Monday morning.

The gathering was to outline the country’s state of readiness ahead of the summit which begins in Sandton on Tuesday until Thursday.

Cele said 51 heads of state and government are expected to gather in the country for the next few days, and promised that the police will be out in full force to deal with criminals and plans to disrupt the summit.

“Your job is to make sure that both South Africans and the people who will be visiting the country feel safe,” Bheki Cele said.

“Make sure that the visitors feel welcome, protected and that they will want to come back and visit the country after the summit.”

He said the visiting heads of state and government represent 40% of the world.

“To have 40% of the world gathered in South Africa shows the seriousness of this summit, but we are not scared, we are ready and prepared to protect the world.”

He instructed the police that as they go about enforcing the law, they must make sure that women and children take priority, saying the police must also protect the rights of people who will not be protesting outside the venue of the summit.

On Sunday, the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) declared itself ready for the summit.

In accordance with the high-level security command structure, the Sandton Convention Centre will be secured with law-enforcement officers deployed around the venue with limited access granted.

All attendees and personnel to the three-day summit will be subjected to strict security checks upon entry. The area will be monitored 24/7 for any suspicious activity.

Additionally, the Civil Aviation Authority has issued an airspace restriction notice around the conference precinct.

Transportation, routes, venues, accommodations, traffic management, sea, land and air border protection are included in the overall security plan.

Natjoints – which operates under the leadership of the South African Police Service, the State Security Agency, and the South African National Defence Force – noted that the summit is widely regarded as an “important event on the calendar of geopolitics”.

Lt-Gen Tebello Mosikili, who serves as the deputy national police commissioner and also holds the position of co-chairperson within Natjoints, said no stone will be left unturned to ensure everyone’s safety.

“I would like to assure the nation that Natjoints is satisfied with its plans to secure the Brics Summit,” she said.

As with previous summits held in the country, Natjoints is confident the upcoming event will also take place in a safe and secure environment, she said.


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