Security tightened for Discovery Summit

Police have beefed up security around Sandton Convention Centre for the Discovery Summit.

The Sandton Convention Centre during the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit on 30 August 2012. Picture: Alex Eliseev/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Security is expected to be tight in and around the Sandton Convention Centre on Thursday as the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit gets underway.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will speak on Thursday afternoon.

Groups who will be protesting outside the centre said they will be calling for his arrest because of his role in the invasion of Iraq.

On Tuesday Archbishop Desmond Tutu pulled out as one of the speakers saying he could not share a platform with Blair.

While Blair has brushed off threats and the protests, police said they will not be taking any chances.

Metro police's Wayne Minnaar said several roads will be blocked off.

"There will be a huge police presence in the area, and if necessary, we will extend the area which has been blockaded."

Police's Katlego Mogale said public order police have been deployed to the area.

Other speakers at the summit include Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Russian grandchess master and political activist Gary Kasparov.