Soweto stampede fake ticket claims to be investigated

2017-07-30 13:40
Officials prepare to remove the bodies of two people killed when fans at a soccer match tried to push through the gates at the FNB Stadium in Soweto. (AP Photo)

Officials prepare to remove the bodies of two people killed when fans at a soccer match tried to push through the gates at the FNB Stadium in Soweto. (AP Photo)

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Johannesburg - Police on Sunday confirmed that an allegation of fake ticketing in connection with a deadly stampede at the Soweto Derby will be investigated.

“We have opened a case of inquest. In our inquest we will try and establish what caused the stampede,” said Captain Mavela Masondo, adding that “there is that allegation [around fake tickets]” that would be investigated.

Michael Sun, MMC for Public Safety for the City of Johannesburg, first mentioned allegations that a possible cause of the stampede might be linked to the selling of fake tickets at the entry gate.

On Sunday he said that these claims came from information on the ground but the matter was now in the hands of the police.

Stadium Management SA's Jacques Grobelaar told Eyewitness News (EWN) that CCTV footage revealed that a group of supporters tried to forcefully gain access to the stadium moments before the stampede happened. 

Grobelaar is quoted as having said, “A group of people were trying to reach a perimeter over a period of 20 minutes, they breached one of the emergency gates and in the process, they fell down and people walked over them.”

Masondo said that while police would not yet release the names of the two people who were killed during the stampede, he could confirm that they were both men, one aged 30 and the other 31.

He said of the several people that were injured, two remained in critical condition. 

On Sunday morning, some of those hospitalised had been discharged.

On Saturday, a stampede broke out at Gate J at the Soweto Derby during a match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates as part of the Carling Black Label Cup.

Grobbelaar previously said “solid security plans” had been put in place.

SA Football Association (SAFA) president Dr Danny Jordaan said he would “ask for a full report and institute a full investigation on what transpired and the cause for the stampede”.

“A football match is supposed to be a place of entertainment. What happened at FNB Stadium is very unfortunate,” he added in a statement issued on the SAFA website.

Both Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates expressed their condolences to the affected families.

Orlando Pirates said on Twitter it was “deeply saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life and injury”, while Kaizer Chiefs expressed similar sentiments on their social media account, declaring that they were “deeply affected by this incident and [we] would also like to wish all those injured in the stampede a speedy recovery”.

The SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) urged for a review of security and evacuation plans at the stadium.

“One would have assumed that lessons were learned from the April 11, 2001, Ellis Park stampede that claimed 43 lives and the January 13, 1991 incident that claimed 42 lives at Oppenheimer Stadium in Orkney," said Sanco national spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu, in a statement.

“It is tragic that what was a thriller between the two Soweto giants ended with loss of lives."

The Democratic Alliance also extended condolences, adding to a call for a full investigation.

“The DA stands together with the families and sports community as they mourn the passing of their loved ones,” said MP Tsepo Mhlongo in a statement.

Read more on:    stampede  |  soweto derby

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