Lentswe, Orkney - Twenty nine years ago on 13 January 1991, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates were playing against each other at Oppenheimer Stadium when all hell broke loose. 42 People died in a stampede.
This Monday 13 January, the Amakhosi Football manager Bobby Motaung, supporters relations manager, Cecil Motaung and corporate communications manager, Vina Maphosa, Research and Publishing Manager, Ernest Landheer were accompanied by some of the legends who played on that day and some current players.
They were welcomed by Matlosana mayor Maetu Kgaile and her executive members and the team’s supporters.
Some of those legends include William Shongwe, Ntsie Maphike, Ace Khuse, Rudolf Gardner Seale, Ryder Mofokeng, Willengton Manyathi, Abel Chacklas Shongwe and some current players like Khama Billiat, Bruce Bvuma, Brylonzalous Kambole, Peterson, Joseph Molangoane, Reeve Frosler, Lorenzo Gordinho and others.
After a moment of silence near the stadium’s grandstand, Khuse and Shongwe (William) said they were playing that day.
“The problem started just after Fani Madida scored a first goal for Chiefs taking the lead from Pirates, that’s when we saw people running all over the stadium’s grandstand and open stands not knowing what was happening.
“We were also then tipped by the game officials so we ran away to the dressing rooms and we were not aware of what was happening at that time,” Khuse said.
Shongwe said while they were still at the dressing rooms, they were later told that there are some people who died.
George Mbathu (67) who was at the game and lost his son Amone who was only 10-year-old at that time said: “We were sitting at the grandstand, but just after the leading goal of Chiefs from Fani Madida, that’s when a Pirates supporter took out a gun and cocked it.
“That’s when we then started to run for our lives, but when we arrived down there, we saw people who were also running away pushing a fence downwards. And the fence trapped some other people and that’s when there was that stampede. I lost my son there, but its fine because I loved Kaizer Chiefs and still do. I cannot say I blame Chiefs and Pirates about that incident, while there were also other teams. We are so great full about today’s event,” Mbathu said.
Moretlo Serame who was 3 years old at that time said he lost his father, Matlhomola at that match.
“I don’t know my father that much because I was still young, but I saw him on photos and heard he was one of those people who died here,” she said.
Bobby Motaung said during this 50 year anniversary of their team, they are also honouring this heroes and heroines (victims) who passed away on that day.
Team chairman Kaizer Motaung said in a statement: “It is imperative to remember our fallen heroes and not forget that they died for the love of the beautiful game.
“It is even more important in this 50th year of Kaizer Chiefs to remember all those important days in our history. We should not only celebrate the good but commemorate and remember those who played a role in getting us to where we are today.”