South African police brace for New Year trouble

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Law enforcement agencies say policing in major South African cities has been beefed up as revelers prepare to usher in the New Year.

In Johannesburg, much of the attention will be focused on the downtown neighborhood of Hillbrow where residents in high-rise apartment buildings traditionally celebrate New Year's Eve by hurling large appliances onto the streets below.

Although the practice is said to be gradually dying, the tradition of throwing anything from unwanted or damaged toasters, fridges, televisions and couches still occurs in what is described as the country's most densely-populated square mile.

The City of Johannesburg is hosting a New Year's Eve music festival and fireworks display Tuesday night which is expected to draw more than 10,000 partygoers, according to a city spokesman.

Elsewhere in the country, Cape Town will host a free concert with lasers, fireworks and a special tribute to anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela who died on December 5.

With a lit-up Table Mountain forming a backdrop to the celebrations, images from Mandela's life will be projected onto City Hall where he gave his first public speech after his release from 27 years in prison in 1990.

The celebration will also commemorate the start of Cape Town's year as World Design Capital.

Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are expected to flock to the city's beaches on New Year's Day, say Cape Town officials.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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