Security hassle for motorists in Mangaung

2012-12-15 19:04
Bloemfontein - Trying to get into the ANC conference venue in Mangaung was like crossing a border into another country on Saturday.

On Friday, the media, staff and police officers moved swiftly in and out of the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, where the event would be held starting from Sunday.

Twenty-four hours later, it was a different world altogether. The number of police on duty had increased. Accredited journalists and service providers could no longer drive into the venue.

All vehicles were directed to go get accreditation at the nearby Tempe military base. At the entrance of the base, soldiers carrying assault rifles directed queuing traffic to the accreditation centre.

Vehicles, including those of cabinet ministers, ambulances and service provider's trucks all queued in a kilometre long line.

It took an hour to get to the search point. Armed officers ordered drivers and passengers to get out of their vehicles while sniffer dogs did their work. Among the various police units at the centre were intelligence officers who were part of the search team.

Passengers went to a separate room where they were searched and their luggage scanned. Car bonnets were opened and scanned, and registration plates were scanned and captured on camera.

The vehicles then had to join a convoy which is led by a police officer on a motorcycle to the university.

Some motorists avoided the hassle and opted to park in an open veld outside the campus.

If a motorist chose to leave the campus, police officers removed the sticker of approval and the vehicle would be subjected to the search process again if it was to be allowed through again.

- SAPA
Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  mangaung 2012
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