Ramaphosa's inauguration to have 2 500 cops

Bheki Cele says all risks have been identified and things will run smoothly

Ramaphosa's inauguration to have 2 500 cops stationed at Loftus Versveld

23 May 2019

It's all systems go for the presidential inauguration at Loftus Versveld Stadium in Tshwane on Saturday, Police Minister Bheki Cele has announced.

Speaking to the media at the stadium on Thursday, Cele gave the green light for the ceremony, saying that all law enforcement agencies are ready and that the event will run smoothly.

He added that risks have been identified and that they have prepared and worked accordingly.

Cele said that work to prepare for the inauguration started on May 8.

"We are very happy with the preparations," Cele added.

The Minister said there would be more than 2 500 officers stationed at the stadium and that there would also be a battalion of soldiers from the South African Defence Force inside the stadium.

The SANDF's role inside would mainly be ceremonial, but they would be present, he said.

Earlier, Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela said security around the city had been heightened in the lead up to the inauguration on Saturday.

While attending a crime prevention and combating operation in Hatfield, Mawela said provincial police would also be responsible for city security.

"Our role will be to ensure that we heighten security around the city," he said, adding that he believes the inauguration will run smoothly.

Call for public's co-operation

According to a statement by the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structures (NatJOINTS), which encompasses a number of law enforcement agencies, a comprehensive plan has been put together to ensure the smooth running of the inauguration.

They called for the success of this event, that "like previous events of this magnitude, is also dependent on the full co-operation of all those in attendance", NatJOINTS spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said.

Restricted airspace

Naidoo also said the airspace from the Tshwane city centre would be restricted for a radius of 46km from 08:00 to 16:00 on the day of the inauguration.

"No remotely piloted air systems (RPAS)/drones will be permitted to operate within the airspace for the duration of the event," Naidoo added.

"This restriction will not affect commercial air traffic."