High-ranking African National Congress‚ government and sports officials have started arriving in the.
Two boys, aged 12 and 13, were briefly taken into police custody for allegedly pelting the Zambian soccer team’s bus with stones.
“We can confirm the incident took place and the perpetrators who pelted the Zambian bus, two young boys, were confined by police,” Safa spokesman Dominic Chimhavi said.
The boys have since been released, and will not be prosecuted.
“The two minors appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court this afternoon. The case has been withdrawn,” spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila said.
“The children were sent for counselling.
“The prosecutors withdrew the case and questions should be referred to the prosecution team.”
Comment from the National Prosecuting Authority could not be obtained immediately.
The incident happened on Wednesday night after the Zambian soccer team beat Bafana Bafana 1-0 at Soccer City.
Brig Malila confirmed that Zambia’s goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, who also plays for the Free State Stars in South Africa, was injured, as he was sitting at the window which was hit.
A Tweet by the Zambian Football Association on Thursday morning read: “Very sad that Zambian bus was stoned and Kennedy Mweene sustained a head injury. Has had stitches and is ok, but the incident was shameful”.
The SA Football Association (Safa) and Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) condemned the stoning.
Safa president Kirsten Nematandani apologised to his Zambian counterpart and said the relationship between the two countries went beyond soccer.
“Such embarrassing behaviour is alien to the Safa and damages the good name of our association and country.
“We do not want at any time to be associated with these scoundrels of society,” Nematandani said.
Afcon 2013 CEO Mvuzo Mbebe said it was an isolated attack and would not affect preparations for the tournament.
“We are disturbed by this incident which is totally an isolated one. South African fans do not behave like this and are known to take defeat in the good spirit,” Mbebe said in a statement.
“This country has hosted numerous international events and we have not experienced such conduct.”
Safa spokesman Dominic Chimhavi also said the behaviour was unacceptable.
“Safa does not condone this behaviour. The match was played in honour of Nelson Mandela and these people are not welcome at our stadiums. They should watch the games at home,” said Chimhavi.
“People come to the games with their families and this behaviour is not acceptable. It is not in the spirit of Fifa’s fair play policy or the Nelson Mandela Challenge.”