Extra security promised at Sharks match as beating accused surrender

2013-04-04 00:00

THE Sharks’ management team have vowed tougher security at this weekend’s Super 15 match after five men suspected of brutally beating a fan to death finally handed themselves over to police.

Stricter security measures would be in place for tomorrow’s game against the Crusaders from New Zealand, the local rugby franchise said.

The five suspects will appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court today. They cannot be named until their appearance.

The rugby world was shocked by the death of South African-born Briton Brett Williams (29), who died after a savage beating outside King’s Park stadium following the Sharks game against the Melbourne Rebels on March 23.

Police spokesperson Colonel Vincent Mdunge said four of the suspects handed themselves in at Durban Central police station on Tuesday evening. The fifth suspect surrendered yesterday morning.

They were being held at Durban North police station, said Mdunge.

Sharks chief executive Brian van Zyl said the management were taking no chances this weekend.

He said there would be additional security measures and any violent behaviour would not be tolerated.

Aggressive spectators were liable to be thrown out.

He said they would closely monitor CCTV footage with police.

“The Sharks and our service providers have looked at how spectator security and safety for fans could be improved.”

Additional measures would be introduced, including a security hotline to which spectators could report “untoward behaviour or possible volatile situations”, and a trained plainclothes reaction unit would be on standby.

The measures would complement the deployment of 400 security staff who are regularly out in force on match days. The hotline number would be extensively promoted during matches.

Van Zyl said paramedics would continue to be on standby at the stadium in case of emergencies.

Williams rerportedly worked as a maritime security officer in Britain and was in transit in South Africa. He had arrived in South Africa two days before he was killed and was due to fly back home on March 29.

He was born in Edenvale, Johannesburg, and emigrated to Liverpool a few years ago.

The South African Rugby Union condemned the killing and called for the “immediate arrest” of the suspects.

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