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

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