Inquiry into soccer deaths called off due to 'lack of cooperation'

FNB Stadium. Picture credits: Ofentse Ratsie
FNB Stadium. Picture credits: Ofentse Ratsie

The Department of Sport and Recreation has confirmed its withdrawal of an inquiry into the death of two fans at a preseason Carling Black Label Cup match‚ but said it would pursue its investigation through “other law enforcement agencies”.

A notice was posted in the Government Gazette in which new Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa said she was was calling off the long-awaited inquiry into the incident at the preseason match between match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs on July 29‚ 2017.

The inquiry had been established by Xasa’s predecessor‚ ex-Sports Minister Thembelani Thulas Nxesi.

In a statement‚ Sport and Recreation said that the inquiry had been abandoned due to active opposition and a lack of cooperation by “the affected stakeholders”.

The statement read: “The Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa has filed a notice of intention to withdraw the earlier published Government Gazette notice on the establishment of a Ministerial Committee of Inquiry into the deaths of spectators at FNB stadium during the match of Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

“The Department has noted with concern the lack of cooperation necessary to execute the mandate of such an Inquiry by key role players.

“As Inquiries of these nature relies largely on the cooperation of the affected stakeholders and there has been active opposition on this one‚ the Department found it necessary to withdraw the current notice and to review other available legal instruments and to vigorously pursue the matter further through other law enforcement agencies to ensure that the interests of justice for the families of the deceased are served‚ as well as to ensure that the relevant laws of the Republic are respected and observed.

“The Department will take it upon itself to pursue this matter further with other law enforcement agencies and to explore other intra-governmental instruments to ensure that the matter is still fully investigated and that where necessary justice is served appropriately.”

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