In response to a Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary question, the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Nathi Mthethwa, revealed that government has no appetite to get to the bottom of the tragic FNB Stadium stampede which claimed the lives of two people, on 29 July 2017. The Minister confirmed that there would not be any inquiry into the fatal stampede, stating that authorities must “exhaust all remedies, actions, etc. that stem from the findings and recommendations of the Ngoepe Commission of Inquiry” which investigated the Ellis Park soccer tragedy in 2001.
The Minister stated that the President has taken the view “[that] there is an unprecedented proliferation which has resulted in too many Commissions of Inquiry been established” and that “the Ngoepe Commission of Inquiry [had] already constituted rules that relate to incidences in sport at stadiums and elsewhere which should rather be utilized and built on instead of opting to build afresh”.
Clearly these “rules that relate to incidences in sport at stadiums” which the Ngoepe Commission instituted, were either not implemented or effective in preventing the FNB Stadium stampede.
The DA maintains that major crowd-control catastrophes at stadiums must each be interrogated to ensure that they do not happen again in future. Failure to this will only lead to further tragedies. The ANC government is essentially preventing life-saving lessons from being learned.
The Minister also revealed that a meeting of the former Ministers of Justice and Correctional Service, Sport and Recreation and the Police, as well as the former Acting National Director of Public Prosecutions had been convened to discuss several matters related to the FNB Stadium stampede and the Moses Mabhida incident. What is evident from the Minister’s reply, is that there has been no movement on the part of government to ensure that those who were responsible for these tragedies have been held to account and that the family and loved ones of the victims have closure and justice.
The DA is of the view that there are still too many questions surrounding the incident and that it is frankly unethical that a probe into how two innocent people died has seemingly been muffled.
The South African public deserves to know the truth and most important, the families of the victims deserve closure and justice.
Tsepo Mhlongo MP
DA Shadow Minister of Sports, Arts & Culture