Sport and Recreation Minister Thulas Nxesi and his deputy Gert Oosthuizen at a media briefing in Pretoria. PHOTO: ANA
Sport and Recreation Minister Thulas Nxesi and his deputy Gert Oosthuizen at a media briefing in Pretoria. PHOTO: ANA
SA Rugby Union chief executive Jurie Roux and director-general of the department of sport Alec Moemi at a press briefing in Pretoria. PHOTO: ANA
SA Rugby Union chief executive Jurie Roux and director-general of the department of sport Alec Moemi at a press briefing in Pretoria. PHOTO: ANA

PRETORIA - "The first issue we want to talk about is the establishment of the ministerial committee of inquiry investigation into the facts and the events that led to the death of the spectators at a soccer match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs on the 29th of July. 

Read more about the stampede here.

We have been given the permission by the President [Jacob Zuma] to establish this inquiry," said Nxesi at a press conference in Pretoria. 

"You would know that before the kickoff of the Soweto Derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, two soccer fans died and two soccer fans were critically injured. A number, that time the count was at 19, other fans including a child suffered minor injuries. We are now finalizing the appointment of that ministerial committee. It became prudent that we do that in terms of the law and we are also seeking guidance."

He said guidance has been sought from Justice Minister Michael Masutha because the ministerial commission of inquiry will be led by a retired judge. The judge will be assisted by two other members in terms of the Public Finance Management Act. 

The terms of reference will be approved by the justice department, before the announcement is made on the commission. 

"We just want to assure South Africans [that] we are on top of the matter. We have consulted with the PSL (Premier Soccer League) because they are also doing the gathering of their own information and putting their own internal inquiry. As government we will not just rely on that only. We have indicated that the judge to be appointed must be able to deliver that report to the minister not later than one month. We are just giving it a month from the date on which the commission is established. We will give you details on terms of reference," said Nxesi. 

Moving to the next issue, Nxesi said Cabinet had approved his request for South Africa to bid for the hosting of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. 

"Government has seen this particular bid as an economic bid which has been based on the projections which have been done by professional companies to look at what is there for us. We must emphasise that we have learnt from the 2010 FIFA World Cup - various mistakes which were committed where we ended up with a lot of money which had to be paid after the tournament. We have to put very stringent conditions and all that must be followed in relation to this [2023 Rugby] World Cup," said Nxesi. 

He said the South African government will be establishing an inter-ministerial committee which will work with SA Rugby Union (Saru) and other stakeholders in the country's bid to host the sporting extravaganza. 

Also read: SAB to help pay cost of FNB Stadium stampede victims' funerals

In May, Saru chief executive Jurie Roux, who was at the press briefing with Nxesi on Thursday, delivered South Africa's bid to host at the World Rugby headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. 

The 827 page document, weighing a massive 8, 2 kilogrammes presented South Africa's competitive edge over the other competitors - Ireland and France - who are also jostling to host the event. 

On Thursday, Nxesi said the South African government has given Saru the much-needed guarantees, valued at R2,8 billion which is a prerequisite for hosting the tournament. He said all that money "is going to come back" through offsets of hosting the lucrative tournament.

- African News Agency (ANA)