Minister wants probe after stadium breach

Fans vandalising the stadium during the Nedbank Cup match between Kaizer Chiefs and Free State Stars at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday.
Fans vandalising the stadium during the Nedbank Cup match between Kaizer Chiefs and Free State Stars at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Sport Minister Toko Xasa wants an explanation for the violence that erupted at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, leaving at least two people seriously injured.

"We can't wait for another person to die before we act. PSL and stadium management must provide answers on what happened in Moses Mabhida Stadium.

"How did supporters manage to storm the ground and endanger people's lives?" she said.

Xasa condemned the violence while raising concerns over security breaches at stadiums.

Police said two people were arrested in connection with the unrest.

This happened after Kaizer Chiefs lost to Free State Stars on Saturday night.

"Two suspects, aged 27 and 33, were arrested for public violence and malicious damage to property," said Captain Nqobile Gwala yesterday.

The pair will appear in the Durban Magistrate's Court today.

Gwala said angry fans had stormed the field, hurled objects onto the pitch and even started a fire at the stadium.

"Police were forced to use stun grenades to disperse the unruly crowds," Gwala said.

A security guard, a ball boy and several spectators were among those injured.

The damage to the stadium and broadcasting equipment is said to amount to millions, with some equipment alleged to have been stolen.

Two vehicles parked at the back of the stadium were also damaged.

Police and stadium security were overrun as fans invaded the pitch at the end of the game, heading directly for embattled Chiefs coach Steve Komphela, who quit immediately after the game.

A small band of Free State Stars supporters were also attacked but managed to get to safety after their club's general manager, Rantsi Mokoena, went to their rescue.

At least two hours after the final whistle the pitch was littered with debris as the two teams delayed their departure until the majority of spectators had been cleared from the precinct.

Xasa said football was a beautiful game and should not be tarnished by the bad behaviour of some disgruntled supporters.

She said it was clear that important security measures were not met or implemented on Saturday.

"This validates my view that an investigation must happen so that we fully understand areas of weakness in sport security," Xasa said.

"Supporters must always know: You win some, you lose some."

PSL chairman Irvin Khoza will hold a press conference on the matter at noon today.

PSL spokesman Lux September condemned the "lawless violence".

He also confirmed that security would be tight outside Orlando Stadium when Orlando Pirates host Bidvest Wits in an Absa Premiership clash on Wednesday.

Pirates were this week punished by the PSL to play two matches, one suspended for a period of 24 months, in an empty stadium as a result of violent conduct by their fans during the 6-0 league loss to Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus last year.

September reiterated that there would be no ticketing and only media, broadcasters and teams would be allowed inside the stadium.

A security guard is reportedly fighting for his life after being badly injured when Kaizer Chiefs fans rioted after the loss to Free State Stars at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday night. Chiefs coach Steve Komphela resigned in the aftermath of the violence.

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