Police to probe stampede that killed two at Soweto derby

Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/ANA Pictures

Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/ANA Pictures

Published Jul 30, 2017


Johannesburg – What was supposed to be a celebration of football between South Africa's two biggest clubs, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, turned to tragedy after two people died and 17 were injured in a stampede at the FNB Stadium.


Saturday afternoon's match, the annual Carling Black Label Champions Cup between the two Soweto rivals, was won 1-0 by Kaizer Chiefs, with the stampede believed to have taken place outside the stadium while the action was already well underway.


As such, the match was completed with many unaware of the disaster, until various reports starting flooding in just before full-time.


The shocking news was, however, confirmed about an hour after the game when the event stakeholders issued the following statement:


"As sponsors of the event, we are saddened by the fatalities that occurred late this afternoon due to a number of people who attempted to push through the gates.


"At the moment we can confirm two fatalities caused by blunt force trauma, one critically injured and sixteen spectators with minor injuries following a turnstile stampede.


"This incident is extremely unfortunate as solid security plans were put in place in conjunction with SAPS and various other stake holders, to ensure that this is a risk-free event.


"Since the inception of the Carling Black Label Cup in 2011, we have had record attendance and incident free events.


"The Police and Stadium Management South Africa are working together to investigate this matter. As Carling Black Label, Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and SMSA wish to express our sincere condolences to the families of those affected by the incident."

Rescuers work at the FNB Stadium after two people were killed in a stampede. Picture: Xinhua/Yeshiel Panchi


The SA Football Association (SAFA) also offered condolences to the family members of those who lost their lives.

“We are going to ask for a full report and institute a full investigation on what transpired and the cause for the stampede,” said SAFA President Danny Jordaan.

“I would also like to wish the injured speedy recovery. A football match is supposed to be a place of entertainment. What happened to at FNB Stadium is very unfortunate,” he added.

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba also confirmed an investigation into the stampede.

"The cause of the stampede is under investigation by the South African Police Service (SAPS). The city’s emergency management services (EMS), 100 Johannesburg metro police department (JMPD) officers, and disaster management unit are on site," he said.

All gates had been opened to ensure crowd control and the game proceeded without any further incident. The city would work with the SAPS to ensure that the cause of the tragedy was investigated.

"This sad loss of life at such a highly anticipated event is indeed a tragedy and the city will work with all the relevant authorities to prevent tragedies such as this in future," Mashaba said.

It was just over 16 years ago that 43 people lost their lives in a stampede at the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg in a match between the same two clubs. 


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