FNB Stadium Stampede Inquiry Abandoned
New South African Sports Minister Abandons FNB Stadium Stampede Inquiry
New South African Sports Minister Thokozile Xasa vows to continue the department's rigorous investigation into the FNB Stadium stampede, despite being forced to abandon the Ministerial Committee of Inquiry.
Tragedy struck the 2017 Carling Black Label Cup, the pre-season match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates when a stampede at a closed entrance gate led to the deaths of two supporters, as well as numerous injuries.
However, the Department of Sport and Recreation have revealed they were met by active opposition in their inquiry, as well as a lack of cooperation from the "affected stakeholders", forcing them to call off the committee's inquiry.
A statement posted by Minister of Sport and Recreation Thokozile Xasa in the Government Gazette read: “Notice to withdraw the establishment of committee of inquiry and its terms reference to investigate facts and events that led to the death of two soccer fans and injury to twenty-one other fans at the soccer match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs on 29 July 2017‚ published on 20 October 2017.
“I‚ Thokozile Xasa, MP, Minister of Sport and Recreation, hereby, by virtue of the powers conferred on me under section 13(5) (a) of the National Sport and Recreation Act‚ 1998 (Act No. 110 of 1998 as amended) read with the Public Finance Management Act‚ 1999 (Act No. 1 as amended)‚of 1999) and its Treasury Regulations to establish the Committee of Inquiry‚ hereby withdraw such committee and its terms of reference to investigate the tragic events at the soccer match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates on 29 July 2017 at which two soccer fans died and twenty-one others were injured as set out in the Schedule, chaired by Judge Pillay, assisted by Mr Masilo Maake and Mr Eugine Van Vuuren. Given under my Hand on the 16 day of March 2018.”
However, Xasa, who replaced Thembelani Nxesi as Sports Minister in February, has promised their investigation will not end there, with the statement continuing: “As Inquiries of these nature relies largely on the cooperation of the affected stakeholders and there has been active opposition on this one‚ the Department found it necessary to withdraw the current notice and to review other available legal instruments and to vigorously pursue the matter further through other law enforcement agencies to ensure that the interests of justice for the families of the deceased are served‚ as well as to ensure that the relevant laws of the Republic are respected and observed.
“The Department will take it upon itself to pursue this matter further with other law enforcement agencies and to explore other intra-governmental instruments to ensure that the matter is still fully investigated and that where necessary justice is served appropriately.”