JOHANNESBURG – Premier Soccer League chairman Irvin Khoza on Monday afternoon appeared to lay blame over the violence that erupted at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night at the door step of the South African Police Service.
Addressing a packed room at the league’s headquarters to react to acts of hooliganism that took place in Durban after Kaizer Chiefs were beaten 2-0 by Free State Stars and eliminated from the Nedbank Cup semi-finals, Khoza said there was inadequate security to deal with the mayhem which unfolded seconds after the final whistle.
“The league is extremely shocked at the violence that took place at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night. I want to make it clear that there is no place for violence in our stadiums and society,” he said, before pointing out that in meetings that were held with several political parties in the country, as well as the Minister of Police Bheki Cele, the league had raised concerns about the role of SAPS.
“It is a fact that public safety risk at football matches and events around the country has been escalating, and it was incumbent on the PSL in its capacity as the controlling body, and occasionally event organiser, to bring to the attention of the honourable ministers the involvement of the SAPS, which is impacting negatively on the compliances with the Sasrea (Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act),” Khoza explained.
“The league also raised certain shortfalls regarding the inconsistent practical implementation of the Sasrea Act by certain components of the SAPS. I don’t want to generalise because there are certain pockets of excellence within state security. There was failure by the VOC (venue operations centre) commander of SAPS to deploy adequate policing.”
The PSL chairman said he was mulling over the decision to ask parliament to review the Sasrea when it comes to football events, so as to give the league the authority to deal with crowd violence at this scale.