Hooligans’ ringleader in the dock
A POLICE officer who apprehended a Highlanders Football Club fan in recent skirmishes that erupted at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday claimed that the accused was the chief architect of the violence.
The violence started at the end of a Premiership match, a 1-1 stalemate, pitting Highlanders FC 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.
Constable Emmanuel Taruvinga who apprehended Nxumalo as he was resisting arrest after jumping onto the pitch said the football fan sparked outrage from other Highlanders fans.
“The accused jumped into the pitch and when we apprehended him that is when other fans started throwing missiles at us and there was violence. It is clear from the way other fans reacted that Nxumalo was the ring leader who sparked the violence,” said Const Taruvinga during trial.
The trial continues today and another cop is expected to testify.
Prosecuting, Miss Caroline Matanga said on August 14 shortly after 4.45PM, Nxumalo unlawfully entered the pitch after the match.
The court heard that Assistant Velile Zele and Const Taruvinga apprehended him, sparking outrage from other Highlanders fans.
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 at the same time.
“When Assistant 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 who are carrying all sorts of weapons.
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.