SA steps up national security

2006-11-28 09:01

Johannesburg - The OR Tambo airport is a South African national key point and its safety should never be entrusted to foreigners. The national police commissioner Jackie Selebi was very clear about this when he introduced the government sector's security council in Pretoria on Monday.

The security council's task will be to monitor security standards at national key points, including major airports and certain government buildings, and vital facilities such as Koeberg power station.

"OR Tambo airport is a national key point and we cannot have it in any other hands, than South African."

"It must and will be in our hands, otherwise we would be saying it's OK to surrender our sovereignty," Selebi said.

The former security chief at the airport was Paul O'Sullivan, a British national who is involved in mud-slinging with Selebi. O'Sullivan alleges that Selebi has been involved in organised crime. Selebi said in turn that O'Sullivan was running a smear campaign against him.

"We are prepared for people who think they can come here and regard us as a banana republic where they can take charge of our security," Selebi said.

Security standards are to be improved at many places, including Koeberg nuclear power station.

A loose bolt left behind after routine maintenance work in one generator on Christmas day last year led to a power blackout in the Western Cape later.

Public Enterprises minister Alec Erwin said at one stage that it looked like sabotage, although he downplayed this later in Parliament.