New Sharks CEO John Smit promises safer King’s Park

2013-04-24 00:00

DURBAN — Former Sharks and Springbok captain John Smit has promised to put measures in place to increase safety for fans outside King’s Park Stadium.

At 35, Smit, the most capped Springbok in history, will become the youngest executive officer of a South African franchise, when he becomes Sharks CEO on July 1, 2013.

Following the growing concern over fan violence in the outlying areas of King’s Park in Durban after British tourist Brett Williams was murdered three hours after a match between the Sharks and Rebels on March 23, Smit was quick to allay fears.

He confirmed that fan safety was top of his agenda and he would ensure that Kings Park Stadium continued to be a world-class venue.

Smit told the 2oceansvibe website: “The sad part is that I’m pretty certain this was not the first out-of-field fight. The terrible thing is that someone died here. We have to maintain some perspective when someone has lost a life.

“The outer fields form a massive part of what the King’s Park vibe is about. King’s Park is one of the most loved stadiums around the world. The Sharks will seek to maintain the vibe around the stadium and we will ensure there will be measures put in place, to make sure that people feel safe.”

Smit admitted he had a lot to learn, especially about the commercial roles of the CEO.

But he believes he is up to the challenge and feels fortunate that he can rely on the experience and support of departing CEO Brian Van Zyl, and an experienced board, who will take a mentoring role for his initial period as CEO.

Smit said he would not take a back seat in his new role, promising a hands-on approach.

“Operationally, I will have to hit the ground running — initially that will be the rugby side of things, making sure the team functions at as high a level as possible,” he said.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.