Police arrest Barbourfields pitch invader
POLICE have arrested a 33-year-old man from Bulawayo’s North End suburb who invaded the pitch at Barbourfields Stadium during a soccer match between Highlanders and How Mine on Sunday. The match ended 2-0 in favour of Highlanders. Police said they first cautioned Tendai Donga, an employee of Archer Clothing, after he climbed over a precast wall to gain entrance into the stadium without paying.
He was later arrested for invading the pitch after Bosso scored their first goal.
Acting Bulawayo police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Abednico Ncube yesterday said the behaviour exhibited by Donga has fuelled hooliganism in stadia before and will not be tolerated.
“We arrested him before the match started after he jumped over a precast wall to gain entrance into the stadium. Alert officers arrested him and removed him from the stadium,” said Asst Insp Ncube.
He said Donga managed to re-enter the stadium after paying. “When Highlanders scored their penalty, he invaded the pitch and ran across the field. He was arrested and we noted that he was the same person that we had cautioned and released. We arrested him. He is detained at Barbourfields Police Base and will be taken to court soon,” he said.
Asst Insp Ncube said it was worrying that people purporting to be soccer fans continuously defy orders from law enforcement agents.
He said police were worried that respected members of society who are gainfully employed were tarnishing their images by being involved in acts of hooliganism at soccer matches. “He is employed at Archer Clothing as a printer yet his conduct is so deplorable. We’ve continuously urged the public against invading the soccer field. Before the match started I pleaded with soccer fans not to invade the pitch but he went on to run across the field,” Asst Insp Ncube said.
He said clubs are fined $2 000 if fans invade the pitch and Donga could have cost Highlanders as they are likely to be charged for his actions.
The incident follows another act of hooliganism involving Highlanders as fans ran onto the pitch in a match against Chicken Inn FC.
On the day police arrested Never Nxumalo for invading the pitch resulting in chaos. He has since appeared in court and is out on bail.
The violence that occurred during the Highlanders and Chicken Inn match also saw a police officer being brutally assaulted with his service shield.
Meanwhile, police have warned members of the public that anyone found with dangerous weapons that are banned will be arrested.
Asst Insp Ncube said police will intensify stop and search patrols to ensure that residents adhere to the prohibition.
He said officers commanding Nkulumane, Suburban and Bulawayo Central Police Districts announced the new development.
Weapons such as catapults, knives, knobkerries, machetes, daggers among other dangerous weapons have been banned effective August 23 to September 23. — @nqotshili