The Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture reflects on the Ellis Park Stadium tragedy of 2001
Today marks 20 years since the worst sporting accident in South African football history, when a Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates derby at Ellis Park Stadium was called off due to a stampede that claimed the lives of 43 spectators.
After a series of inquiries, a number of findings were made, including the overselling of tickets where it was alleged that over 30 000 extra tickets were produced after the sold out sign was displayed. Another finding included the fact that counterfeit tickets were sold on the black market; and a number of inexperienced security personnel were deployed on the day, which further resulted in poor crowd control.
Minister Nathi Mthethwa said, “The tragedy that occurred at the Ellis Park Stadium is a heart-breaking memory and a disaster that should have never happened. We, as the Government, have taken strict measures to ensure that a tragedy of this nature never happens again. Since the recommendations of the Ellis Park Commission of Enquiry, The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture has passed the Safety at Sport and Recreation Events Act, Act 2 of 2010, to curb the re-occurrences of similar incidences. My heart goes out to the families of those who lost their lives in this senseless disaster. Through the Act, we will ensure that the deaths of their loved ones are not in vain.”
The Act requires that an Event Manager must submit a request for a risk catagorisation of the event and ensure that based on the category of the event, safety plans are compiled and prior approved. The Department will continue to amend this act accordingly, to ensure that any and all loopholes are closed.
Masechaba Khumalo: Spokesperson (Minister)
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