City boss reassures spectators of safety at soccer

2015-05-13 06:00
: The police and security staff removing one of the spectators from the field during the pitch invasion.
                       photo: 
THEO JEPTHA

: The police and security staff removing one of the spectators from the field during the pitch invasion. photo: THEO JEPTHA

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CITY manager Mpilo Mbambisa has expressed shock and sadness over the death of a soccer supporter in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium this past weekend and reassured soccer lovers that the stadium will be safe for this weekend’s action.

Mbambisa said at a media briefing on Monday that the municipality wished to state categorically that the past weekend’s incident was in no way an indication of the stadium’s safety systems, of the performance of the security services, in particular the SAPS.

The man (in his thirties) was shot dead when two other supporters allegedly attempted to grab a policeman’s firearm from his holster.

Police and security officials had their hands full to protect the players during a pitch invasion after the Absa Premiership clash between Kaizer Chiefs and Chippa United.

“Along with our stakeholders, we are more than ready to host the Nedbank Cup Final on Saturday, May 16, and encourage all football-loving fans to watch the match on Saturday. In this regard, we re-emphasise our gratitude to the PSL and Nedbank for having awarded the playing of the final in Nelson Mandela Bay,” said Mbambisa.

“The city was proud to have hosted the final PSL match on Saturday. The crowd was fantastic both in numbers and in spirit, as they cheered their teams on in an exciting and pulsating game, watched by millions of South Africans and Africans across the country and continent. It was a great spectacle for sport, as well as further evidence of our city’s prowess at hosting such major occasions.

“At this stage, the matter is with the SAPS, and we are fully confident that they will provide clarity as to how it came about that a life was lost.

“The Municipality offers its sincere condolences to the family of the deceased, the supporters’ fraternities of both Kaizer Chiefs and Chippa United, and the management and staff of the PSL,” said Mbambisa.

Mbambisa said they were extremely concerned about the pitch invasion. “Such scenes have never before been witnessed at the Stadium and we look forward to receiving a report with solid recommendations from the stadium management to prevent such a recurrence.”

– REPORTER

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