Pirates, Chiefs bosses promise fair probe
Khoza, Motaung will recuse themselves from the process
AS supporters of the Soweto Derby mourn the loss of two fans who were killed in a stampede, Dr Zakes Kagiso Motene, author of The Journey: The Ellis Park Stampede 2001, a Survivor’s Story!, was hurt to hear that history had repeated itself.
Motene was at the stadium to watch the Soweto Derby when 43 fans died in a horrific stampede at Ellis Park 16 years ago and ended up helping to attend to the injured.
“It’s quite painful to relive something like that especially on South African soil because one would not expect something like this to happen at FNB.
“It’s precisely the reason why I have not been to a stadium to watch soccer again,” Motene said.
The doctor said it is disappointing that the behaviour of some football fans put others at risk.
Motene said: “Nobody should die for football really. If you think about it, you go to the stadium to enjoy yourself and anybody that goes to the stadium is somebody who is healthy.
“To be told that your loved one has lost their lives; it’s disheartening. And those of us who have been in that kind of situation, I can tell you now, a death from a stampede is the most painful thing to think about.”
Motene said this stampede could have been avoided but commended the organisers for having the derby at the biggest stadium in the land.
Meanwhile, Irvin Khoza and Kaizer Motaung yesterday vowed that “no stone will be left unturned” in establishing what caused the stampede at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Speaking at a hastily organised press conference at the offices of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in Joburg on yesterday morning, the bosses of Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs said they were going to instruct the league to complete the probe within two weeks.
Two fans, one of them identified as Prince Chauke while the other’s name can only be revealed after his family has been informed, lost their lives in a stampede that happened just after Chiefs scored the goal that saw them beat their bitter rivals 1-0 to win the pre-season Carling Black Label Champion Cup.
Khoza, who is also the chairman of the PSL, said he and Motaung – a member of the PSL executive committee – will recuse themselves from the process “lest we be accused of investigating ourselves”.
“We have written a letter to the league that we will be giving to the CEO immediately after this, hence we decided to hold this conference here,” he said before reading what their requests to the league are.
“One, we ask that the league appoints an independent person of unquestionable integrity to investigate precisely what transpired at the event.
“Two, that the person be tasked to establish not only the facts, but whether there were any shortcomings with regards to safety and security at the event.
“The person concerned be instructed to obtain all the necessary reports of relevance including from the SAPS, stadium, safety and security, service providers, clubs and the sponsors and do so on an urgent basis.
“That the person concerned is instructed to provide a full report to the (PSL) executive committee within 14 days to ensure that proper assessment can be done as regards the appropriate steps to be taken regarding the matter.”
Khoza expressed his and Motaung’s deepest condolences to the bereaved families, and assured the public that the match had been played under full compliance with not only the Sasrea Act 2 of 2010, but also the Ngoepe Commission’s instructions that followed the 2001 Ellis Park disaster.
We learn every day, and we want to avoid these things