The 2010 Fifa World Cup committee is searching for a new security manager following the sudden resignation of Wally Rhoode. The news has brought fresh doubts as to whether South Africa will be able to provide adequate security for the tournament.
Rhoode, former head of security at the National Prosecuting Authority, left his position earlier in the month to pursue family business interests.
However it is thought that his sudden departure is related to the incident regarding his appointment of unqualified security providers for the World Cup curtain-raiser, the Confederations Cup, in June, and that he may not have left of his own accord.
South African newspaper Mail & Guardian reported that numerous security errors occurred before and during the Confederations Cup and that two weeks before the kick-off no company had been appointed to provide security at hotels, stadiums and training grounds.
Although the committee’s security department is headed by former prisons boss Linda Mti, Rhoode was in charge of operations and assisted with appointing security services. Sources say he was the committee’s main contact point for the security industry.
Rhoode strongly denied this week that his departure was related to the chaos surrounding security for the Confederations Cup.
“I resigned in April, before the FCC [Confederations Cup]. The organising committee asked me to stay until after the FCC,” Rhoode said.
He admitted being in charge of security operations at all times during the Confederations Cup and to having vacated his office two weeks ago.
The organising committee’s Rich Mkhondo confirmed Rhoode’s resignation “with effect from August 1 2009”. He did not comment on Rhoode’s claim that he had resigned four months earlier.