Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has strongly condemned the violence that erupted at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban soon after Kaizer Chiefs lost 2 - 0 in the semi-final match of the Nedbank Cup to Free State Stars on Saturday night, which left many people injured and property damaged.
Stadium management, football marshalls, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) leadership, and the South Africa Police Service (SAPS) should provide answers on why security measures they had in place failed when fans invaded the pitch "unhindered", DA spokesperson Tsepo Mhlongo said on Sunday.
The DA would ask parliament's sport portfolio committee chairperson Beauty Dlulane to summon the Premier Soccer League (PSL) leadership to account for the growing culture of violence that seemed to have taken root in the country’s premier soccer division.
"The PSL must provide concrete plans on interventions they will be implementing to stop violence at football matches and ensure safety of spectators and officials. It is not acceptable that a family spectator sport regularly degenerates to violence that threatens the well-being of everyone because the PSL fails to take stern action against hooligans who perpetuate violence," Mhlongo said.
Failure to adequately deal with unacceptable behaviour came only weeks after the dropping of the PSL Commission of Inquiry into crowd safety by Sport and Recreation Minister Tokozile Xasa. The events at Moses Mabhida Stadium showed that this was an ill-informed decision that proved that crowd safety at major sporting events was "not a priority for government".
"Parliament must fulfill its role and hold sporting bodies, such as the PSL, accountable to ensure that South African stadiums do not become death traps for sport loving fans," Mhlongo said.
Earlier on Sunday, the PSL - the governing body for professional football in South Africa - condemned the lawlessness that broke out at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.
The PSL would work closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure that those responsible for the hooliganism were subjected to judicial processes. "The league is currently awaiting reports from all relevant role players," the PSL said in a statement.
At the final whistle of the Nedbank Cup semifinal between hosts Kaizer Chiefs and Free State Stars, hundreds of fans invaded the pitch and the security officers were unable to cope adequately with the rampaging fans.
African News Agency/ANA