Stadium security was the responsibility of the police‚ say management

Fans vandalized the stadium during the 2018 Nedbank Cup match between Kaizer Chiefs and Free State Stars at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban on 21 April 2018.
Fans vandalized the stadium during the 2018 Nedbank Cup match between Kaizer Chiefs and Free State Stars at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban on 21 April 2018.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Moses Mabhida Stadium management say security for the disastrous Nedbank Cup semi-final on Saturday was the sole responsibility of the police.

Durban mayor Zandile Gumede revealed at a media briefing on Wednesday that the unrest had caused damage worth R2.6-million. Nineteen people were injured.

“The security of the game was the sole responsibility of the South African Police Service‚ as stipulated by the SASREA Act. Our role was to provide the venue and infrastructure‚ which we fulfilled‚” Gumede told journalists.

This comes after Premier Soccer League chairman Irvin Khoza said poor planning by the police was partly to blame for the violence at the stadium.

Moses Mabhida stadium manager Vusi Mazibuko said Saturday’s match had been categorised as high-risk.

“As stipulated by the chairman of the PSL‚ Irvin Khoza‚ the responsibility in terms of the SASREA Act sits with the high command at SAPS for the co-ordination and delivery of sports and recreation events that have been categorised either as high-risk or middle-risk‚ and any low-risk events are the responsibility of the organisers‚” Mazibuko said.

“So this event ... fell within the category of an event that was managed by SAPS. The deployment of security guards is determined by a protocol in respect to numbers as per the attendance as well as the design of the stadium. The deployment of SAPS is not the responsibility of the stadium‚ it is the responsibility of the police.

“That deployment is determined by pre-planning meetings. At the pre-planning meetings you will then get to realise and analyse the risk associated with the event.

“Only police can do risk assessment of the event. The risk assessment will determine which type of police has to be deployed.”

He said that everyone was aware of the possible reaction of Kaizer Chiefs supporters: “They [Kaizer Chiefs] don’t win a lot these days. So we knew that and therefore the planning from a stadium side was confirmed in those meetings‚ to say that there was a possibility of a threat.

“That is the role as far the stadium is concerned when it comes to security‚ that in respect of this particular match - this was a PSL match and therefore the custodianship of the match sat with the PSL. The security company that worked on the day had to be appointed by the PSL because it was their match‚” Mazibuko said.

In a statement issued on Tuesday‚ Acting Provincial Commissioner‚ Major General Bheki Langa‚ announced the appointment of a high-level team from his office to investigate the incident at the stadium.

“The office of the Acting Provincial Commissioner did receive a plan for the policing of the match which was informed by the risk categorisation and threat assessment‚” the statement said.

“We will be probing if the deployment of SAPS‚ private security personnel and other security agencies were in place according to the plan and whether those that were deployed to provide security at the event reacted as they were expected to and whether they were in a position to prevent the hooliganism and criminality that unfolded.”

Langa said that police had condemned the actions of the spectators responsible for the violent behaviour and appealed to the public to report information on the perpetrators to Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

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