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'We Went To Ellis Park To Count Points And Ended Up Counting Bodies'

Today, we bow our heads and lower our flags to half-mast as we remember the Ellis Park disaster of 2001, when we lost 43 beautiful supporters of the game during a stampede in the middle of a Soweto Derby. We do not want to dive into why this occurred, but we wanted to capture the feelings of someone who was there, namely Saddam Maake. 

"I’ll never forget it. Five people died from my branch, four men and one lady," he said. 

"You know, we went there to count points and we ended up counting bodies. People were outside the stadium when 'Tso' Vilakazi scored an equaliser; the people heard the vuvuzelas from outside and that's what triggered it (the stampede).

"It all happened at Gate 4, it was horrible. We didn’t know who was alright and who wasn't.

"That day, the beautiful game was bad, that was the horrible side of it. We are thankful to the PSL who gave us money to bury the dead with. They gave us around R15 000 each.

"Nelson Mandela told us that sport must be used to unite the nation, so we hope that people don't stop going to the stadiums because of what happened. They must still go, we need sport to unite us, no one must be hurt and no one must fight. We should love each other and love sport, cricket, rugby and soccer.

"Those people who died, they are our heroes. They are the soldiers who died doing their job and we thank them.

"It is important for us to remember that we went there to count points and we ended up counting bodies."

Soccer Laduma Supporters Club sends its deepest condolences for the 43 who never made it home. It leaves a hole in our heart; may we never forget the power and responsibility that comes with the beautiful game…

Rest In Peace


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