Soccer ‘hooligan’ remanded out of custody
A HIGHLANDERS Football Club fan suspected to be the ring leader in skirmishes that erupted at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo on Sunday, appeared in court yesterday.
A police officer was brutalised in the fracas and carried away in an ambulance.
The violence started at the end of a Premiership match, a 1-1 stalemate, pitting Highlanders and Chicken Inn.
Never Nxumalo (25) of Njube suburb appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mrs Adelaide Mbeure facing charges of causing disorder in a public place.
Nxumalo, who was clad in an overall emblazoned with Highlanders colours, was remanded out of custody to August 22 pending trial on $20 bail.
Prosecuting, Miss Caroline Matanga said on August 14, 2016 shortly after 4.45PM, Nxumalo unlawfully entered the pitch after the match.
The court heard that Assistant Inspector Velile Zele and Constable Emmanuel Taruvinga apprehended Nxumalo who was trying to resist arrest, sparking outrage from other Highlanders fans.
The hooligans started throwing missiles at the two cops before they invaded the pitch and police set a dog on the rowdy fans while beating them with truncheons.
“When Assistant Inspector Zele and Constable Taruvinga arrested Nxumalo, Highlanders fans started throwing missiles which were directed at the two police officers before they invaded the pitch and engaged in acts of violence,” said Miss Matanga.
The violence was captured by social media users who posted videos and pictures online.
In one of the videos, police officers are seen retreating from charging hooligans armed with sticks, bottles and bricks.
In another one, an unidentified man is seen savagely assaulting a policeman using a police shield.
In the video, the police officer is haplessly lying on the ground with one of his shoes removed.
Some fans tried to rescue him and all hell broke loose. The few police details were clearly losing the battle and started retreating to safety towards the VIP area, as fans closed in on them.
The cops kept their distance and allowed tempers to cool.