Don't play politics, cops warned

2012-01-05 22:41

Bloemfontein - Police overseeing the ANC centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein at the weekend need to separate their political affiliations from their sworn duty as officers, acting national police commissioner Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi said on Thursday.

"This event is the first of its kind. We warn you, you might have voted, and might be a card carrying member of a party, but you are still police," he told over 3 000 officers at the Bennies Park police recreation centre in Bloemfontein.

"If I find anyone playing politics, we will deal with you severely."

Mkhwanazi said he was happy with security procedures in place for the centenary.

"We are comfortable and ready to police the events. You officers must focus and keep all members, VIPs, citizens and attendees safe."

He said a no-fly zone had been declared above Bloemfontein.

"We are policing the airspace. No aircraft will be flying here to come and crash into the stadium.

"We are also going to look underground for all those who use the tunnels like a mouse. Those with ill intentions will not be able to come here."

Mkhwanazi warned the officers to be on their best behaviour.

"We need to maintain a perfect image of the police officer. There will be no down time for the event. You are all on duty until the end, so there is no time to drink. We will not tolerate drunk officers."

He said the police presence in the town would be greater than at the climate change COP17 conference in Durban last year.

"In COP17 we had six heads of state. Now, we have 56 VIPs, including... heads of state, or former heads of state," he said.

"We are prepared to protect, and there will be no compromises."

More than 100 000 people were expected to attend festivities in the province, where the South African Native National Congress was founded on January 8 1912. It was renamed the African National Congress in 1923.

The party said all were welcome and no accreditation was needed. The army had been deployed to ensure security, particularly because of the heads of state who had confirmed their attendance.

They included Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni.

It was still unclear if former president Nelson Mandela would attend the celebrations.

  • Andries - 2012-01-05 23:22

    Nee blerrie Hel....! Dan gaan ek maar die naweek uit Bloem na Bloemhof toe !

      Thabo - 2012-01-06 07:39

      You have freedom of choice and movement Oom Andries!

      gouws2 - 2012-01-06 09:59

      wonder if the smell is gona count as weapons of mass destruction....

      Thopa - 2012-01-06 10:57

      English or Sepedi only!

  • Obie - 2012-01-05 23:23

    One wonders if a white man aged 33 would be welcome.

      Craig - 2012-01-06 00:44

      I am sure you will be... Us South Africans are actually very tolerant and understanding of each other.

      Themba S. Mayongo - 2012-01-06 07:32

      Certainly so... ANC is a non racial and non sexist political party. And everyone is invited to the celebrations, no accreditation required. Can even come along with my girlfriend and i.

      Merven - 2012-01-06 07:54

      If the ANC is non racial why do they sing 'Kill the boer' songs and implement racist policies like racial classification when applying for jobs, bursaries etc?

  • Mary-Lou - 2012-01-06 00:57

    what a dumb c$%t. The whole SAPS is ANC. Only ANC card carriers get promoted. They are bussing in cops from the country for this jol at tax payers expense. The Nats were in charge for 56 years and never had a 50 year party.

  • afroduckk - 2012-01-06 01:30

    No Fly Zone - Damn , I was hoping I could use my 'Floating Shark' over the weekend.

  • Consolata Lodya - 2012-01-06 06:59

    A no fly zone over bloem!?... Does that mean that all planes flying between cape town and jozi should reroute? What about those flying to bloem? Since when did the ANC buy the airspace, forgive my ignorance but I was unaware that one could buy airspace,(I didnt see that tender go up). Are they going to buy all the air in bloem as well so that on one but those at the celebrations are allowed to breathe?

  • Clutch - 2012-01-06 08:28

    The anc can fly aircraft? Really?

  • Heinrich - 2012-01-06 09:11

    All that food. Hot as hell in Bloemfontein. No-fly zone? I doubt it.

  • Karabo - 2012-01-06 09:29

    I saw the footage as the police men received the threat to not be seen doing politics! I think there are no minors in the police force and maybe I don't understand why he being rude when saying that but..... why would you speak to people that way? R.E.S.P.E.C.T. If people working in the police force are so disrespected, why do you think they feel belittled and dishonored most of the time? The best way for them to express the way they feel is to turn the gun to their families and themselves. I might be wrong, but I believe when you work with people you treat them with respect no matter their position.

      ofentse.ramorula - 2012-01-06 09:54

      Sorry Karabo but this is how it works in the police and military, all over the world.

  • Kooven - 2012-01-06 10:55

    "We are policing the airspace. No aircraft will be flying here to come and crash into the stadium. "We are also going to look underground for all those who use the tunnels like a mouse. Those with ill intentions will not be able to come here." Paranoid much??? Lol

  • Ian - 2012-01-06 11:06

    no terrorist would want to fly an aeroplane into the stadium, it'll only make a better place if that happened. - largely counter productive from a terrorist point of view :/

  • Ian - 2012-01-06 11:11

    censored censored censored censored. gee thanks N24.

  • Thozi - 2012-01-06 11:47

    I'm in Bloemfontein. My stubborn 12-year old son would not listen when I ask him to ground his remote-controlled helicopter, which he ussually flies around the yard, until the heat is off. He maintains the "no-fly" rule does not apply to him, but I don't want to take any chances. Is he looking for trouble?

      Cina - 2012-01-06 12:15

      This is funny, you made my day.

  • Cina - 2012-01-06 12:05

    I still say this is the opportunity of the century for ...............

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