The Post / 7 December 2018, 09:00am / Kailene Pillay
Durban - PROMINENT Pietermaritzburg lawyer Naren Sangham said his family were considering their legal options after his 8-year-old “soccer crazy” grandson was killed in a freak accident on Friday evening.
Kiyan Singh died after a goalpost, which was not fixed in the ground, became airborne during a strong wind, and struck him on the head. He died instantly.
His team, Juventus Football Club (Junior), was playing at the Riverside Football Club in Durban North. Kiyan was standing on the sidelines of the field, near the goalpost, when tragedy struck.
His mother, Tess Singh, and brother Aryan, 11, were at the ground at the time. His father, Durban dermatologist Dr Sahil Singh, was travelling in the UK. He was shopping for a Manchester goalie kit for Kiyan when he was told of his son’s death.
Sangham said they were still trying to comprehend what happened.
He spoke to POST as they prepared for Kiyan’s third-day memorial service yesterday.
“We are in shock, disbelief and still trying to come to terms with the tragedy,” he said.
Kiyan was a Grade 2 pupil at Atholton Primary in uMhlanga.
Sangham described his grandson as a “wonderful soul” and a “beautiful boy”.
He said this was reinforced by the more than 2 000 people who attended Kiyan’s funeral on Sunday.
“He was the apple of the eye of our entire family. His devoted parents gave him every opportunity they could. He especially loved playing sport.”
Sangham said they were in mourning and the wounds were still very raw, but they would definitely consider their legal options at the appropriate time.
“We need to get to the bottom of what caused this. For a goalpost not to have been secured for a gust of wind to pick it up and cause this”
He said, in his opinion, the supervision of the children on the field was “totally inadequate”.
“Whoever is culpable must take responsibility,” he said.
The head coach of the Riverside Sporting Football Club, Gert Boshoff, described the incident as a “freak accident”.
He said all those who witnessed the incident had given statements to the police. An inquest docket had been opened.
Boshoff said the match between Juventus and Riverside juniors was played at the lower field at the Riverside Sports Club. At the time, there were a number of other matches being played and coaches were scattered around the grounds coaching their respective teams, he said.
“Kiyan was a substitute and waiting for his turn to play. He was standing near the goalpost, with his coach right next to him,” Boshoff said.
He said that when the goalpost flew into the air, the coach tried to grab it before it hit Kiyan. However, he could not do so because of its weight.
“He tried to grab it but he couldn’t handle the weight. He is taking a lot of strain and I think he feels like it is his fault,” he said.
When asked whether the goalpost was fixed or movable, Boshoff said the goalpost could be moved but that it had not been moved in five years.
“This is a complete mystery,” he said.
Boshoff said they had since cordoned off the soccer pitch and banned matches from being played on it.
The chairperson of Juventus FC, Steven Papini, declined to comment but offered his condolences to the family.
“May God help and guide you during this dark time.
“Too young, fragile Kiyan, may your young soul rest in peace - our prayers are with you,” he said.