“This day, 11 April, is significant and will forever be in our memories,” comments Chairman Kaizer Motaung. “This is a constant reminder to ensure that proper security measures are put in place at the stadiums. I will not forget this day; I get flashbacks when I remember the 43 people that died on this day. This is a heart-breaking part of our football history.”
The Ellis Park Stadium disaster happened on 11 April 2001 when the spectators arrived to watch the Soweto Derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at Ellis Park Stadium.
“Once more, I want to convey my message of sympathy to the families and friends that lost their loved ones in the disaster,” Motaung continues. “Words fail me; I still can’t believe the disaster happened. No words can describe how much I feel about it. This event was regrettable and we pay respect to the departed souls and the bereaved who had to endure this painful experience.
“The disaster taught us many things. From the disaster we learned the hard way to plan our match events thoroughly to avoid the repeat of this fateful night. I wish the families well and strength during this sad reminder.”
“It is a coincidence that this time the disaster day falls within the period of mourning for the passing of Mama Winnie Mandela,” says Motaung. “This day cannot be work as usual at the Village, we will observe the day in the headquarters with the players and staff observing a moment of silence. We will amplify via various media our solidarity with the bereaved families and friends.”
“On behalf of the Kaizer Chiefs Family, I wish to convey my utmost sympathy to the bereaved,” concludes a visibly distraught Motaung. “I hope with this as a constant reminder, we will continue to work hard to tighten the planning for safety at match events.”
May the souls of the departed continue to rest in the eternal peace!