'The Picture Remains Vivid' – Motaung Mourns The Ellis Park 43
Kaizer Motaung has once more reiterated the importance of remembering the 43 people that died at Ellis Park Stadium on this day in 2001, calling it a ‘fateful and unforgettable date’.
To this day, the Ellis Park Disaster remains the worst sporting accident in South African history, where 43 fans were crushed to death in Johannesburg during a Soweto Derby encounter between Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.
Now, 18 years later, the supporters who went to a football game but never returned home are remembered once again, with Motaung saying that they have to be remembered in order to make sure we never see anything like the Ellis Park Disaster ever again.
Speaking to the club’s official website, he said, “It is one fateful and unforgettable date. The picture remains vivid in my mind every time I think about that night.
“I will not get used to talking about this, it happened, and it is part of our history. One philosopher George Santayana said, ‘those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it’. We are bound to refer to this unfortunate incident to renew and pledge our solidarity with the bereaved families and review the measures that were put in place as a result.”
Chiefs’ chairman went on to say, “The Ngoepe Commission was appointed by former President Thabo Mbeki to investigate the cause of the stampede and make recommendations to avoid a similar occurrence in the future… My deepest feelings of sympathy to the families that lost their beloved stays on. We always keep them in our prayers because we share their pain as the football family.
“The day is remembered in various ways by different stakeholders. A prayer ceremony at the stadium is part of the commemoration and I know there will be visitations to mark the day at Ellis Park Stadium to show respects. I wish to reiterate on behalf of the Kaizer Chiefs Family my condolences to the families and wish that the departed rest in the everlasting peace.”