Irvin Khoza: Fan violence threatens the very fabric of our society

Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairperson Dr Irvin Khoza has apologised for the violence after Saturday’s Nedbank Cup semifinal and promised strong action in the coming weeks and months.

Hideous scenes greeted the final whistle that confirmed Kaizer Chiefs’ 2-0 loss to Free State Stars at Moses Mabhida stadium on Saturday night. Fans lit fires in the stands, threw vuvuzelas and bottles onto the pitch and then stormed it.

Khoza, speaking on behalf of the PSL, condemned the violence and placed the blame firmly on criminal elements mingling in with supporters.

“The league is shocked and extremely concerned at this violence and criminality that occurred. I want to make it clear that there is no justification or place for violence in football or in our society.

“These acts are not coincidental. They are deliberate, pre-meditated and orchestrated by people whose aim is criminality and an infringement on the majority who are peace-loving and law-abiding.”

Khoza went on to apologise to all stakeholders, sponsors, broadcasters and those injured in the events.

“It is important that we take into consideration the motive and harm that these criminals seek to inflict. It goes beyond football because there is a toll that these acts have on the nation’s people. The imagery in on television and in the newspapers is not good for our country.

“If we do not stop this rising tide of destruction, we will destroy the very fibre of our nation.It is particularly important that those who inflict this criminality are not seen to get away with it. Condemnation by words alone is not enough. Action, both preventative and remedial, is necessary,” Khoza said.

Khoza said he is unable to reveal the state of the league’s investigation but promised a thorough investigation, and severe consequences for anyone found to be behind the violence. He went on to reveal that all stadium processes, before, during and after games, could likely be revisited.

“Fans who commit crimes should be identified, prosecuted and arrested.”

In one particular video circulated on social media after Saturday night, fans were seen attacking a security guard, initially believed to be a woman, hitting him with chairs and kicking him the head. Khoza revealed the 38-year-old man has since been discharged from hospital. “No one is deceased,” he added.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Luke Feltham
Luke Feltham

Luke Feltham runs the Mail & Guardian's sports desk. He was previously the online day editor.

Advertisting

Stella set to retain her perks

Communication minister will keep Cabinet perks during her two months of special leave

Not a sweet deal, Mister

Mister Sweet workers say they will not risk their health, and the lives of others, to continue producing and packaging confectionaries

Covid-19 grounds Nigeria’s medical tourists

The country’s elites, including the president, travelled abroad for treatment but now they must use the country’s neglected health system

Nehawu launches urgent court bid over protective gear for health...

The health workers’ union says the government has rebuffed its attempts to meet about mitigating risks to workers

Press Releases

Rahima Moosa Hospital nursing college introduces no-touch facial recognition access system

The new system allows the hospital to enrol people’s faces immediately, using artificial intelligence, and integrates easily with existing access control infrastructure, including card readers and biometrics

Everyone’s talking about it. Even Kentucky

Earlier this year South African fried chicken fast-food chain, Chicken Licken®, launched a campaign for their wallet-friendly EasyBucks® meals, based on the idea of ‘Everyone’s talking about it.’

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world