The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
SA cops leave nothing to chance

Pietermaritzburg: Realistically, security personnel can’t have control over happenings in night clubs but, otherwise, absolutely nothing is being left to chance in this World Cup.

The latest example surfaced late on Thursday, at the Indian team’s glitzy hotel (The Golden Horse, which even runs a casino) here, when police “questioned” a guest for fudging personal details while checking-in shortly before Sourav Ganguly and Co. arrived. The Namibians are also at the Golden Horse.

The guest, identified only as a “young South African farmer” by a source who spoke to The Telegraph, was questioned for over an hour and so “intense” was the grilling — apparently, by the senior area commissioner himself — that he checked-out early Friday.

“The particulars didn’t match the documents he was holding and, when a screening process was initiated, that discrepancy came through. The Xerox of his national ID showed a number, which didn’t tally with what was listed at the time of checking-in. A computer check confirmed something was amiss,” the source pointed out.

Intriguingly, the guest refused to take calls (from the manager’s office) and also didn’t allow the housekeeping staff to complete the traditional “turn down” service in the evening. It’s then that the police got into the act and “searched” his room on grounds of “implied security threat”. The questioning began thereafter.

“He came through as a very foolish young man... He didn’t have a police record and, so, wasn’t arrested... Though he spent the night at the hotel, he was being watched and was terribly shaken at the time of checking-out,” the source added.

One understands the guest did have the option of staying over for the weekend, which would have coincided with the Indian and Namibian teams’ stay. The two, after all, play each other Sunday.

As part of the “security protocol”, every guest not directly connected with the World Cup, in hotels where the teams are being housed, is put through a “screening” exercise with the help of the police.

Given the present times, nobody should be complaining.

Email This Page