The Premier Soccer League together with member clubs Kaizer Chiefs, Free State Stars and partners SuperSport International and Nedbank today participated in the victim/offender’s mediation dialogue facilitated by the Department of Correctional Services.
The event, which also included the security personnel that were assaulted during the 2018 Nedbank Cup semi-final fixture between Kaizer Chiefs and Free State Stars – was held at Moses Mabhida in Durban today.
Fans went on a rampage last year when Chiefs were beaten 2-0 by Ea Lla Koto in the cup.
Also in attendance was eThekwini Deputy Mayor Councilor Belinda Scott and high ranking officials from the Department of Correctional Services.
The victim offenders dialogue is a process of restorative justice – an opportunity for offenders to meet face to face with their victims. Seven of the nine offenders were present.
PSL acting chief executive Mato Madlala thanked the Department of Correctional Services for facilitating the dialogue. “The significance of what happened today cannot be understated. As the League, we want to make it clear that what happened during that semi-final was unacceptable. We would like to thank our clubs and also our sponsors for participating in this dialogue.”
Nedbank was represented by Nthabiseng Matshekga while SuperSport was represented by Mohamed Bhyat. Both Kaizer Chiefs and Free State Stars were also represented.
eThekwini Deputy Mayor, Belinda Scott said: “I hope this will curb future incidents of that nature Violence is not going to be tolerated by the Durban metro police.”
Victims Speak out:
Khumbulani Qwabe, a security guard who was one of the victims that night said: “I found myself being assaulted by people having not committed any crime. It was a painful experience. I’m a father to six kids and I have a wife, but I couldn’t work to support my family after I was badly injured as I spent time in hospital. I broke my ribs. All I did was to go to the stadium to work for my family.”
Sabelo Maziba, another security guard assaulted on the day said: “I have permanent scars from what happened. Today I live with permanent pain and my doctor has told me I’m lucky not be wheelchair bound. I don’t know what I did to deserve the beating I got that day. I couldn’t walk for three months, I couldn’t eat solid food for weeks.”
The offenders took to the podium during the dialogue to apologize for their actions.
John Khumalo said: “We are here to apologise to the community and the whole country. We want to apologise to the clubs; Kaizer Chiefs and Free State Stars. We want to apologise to the sponsors Nedbank and we hope what we did will not dissuade them from supporting football or coming back to Durban. The people in KwaZulu Natal love football.”
Douglas Mkhize said: “What we did let our country down as that game was watched by many people outside South Africa. I apologise to Kaizer Chiefs because I was wearing their jersey – a club I support. I also apologise to Free State Stars, Moses Mabhida Stadium, sponsors and the PSL for what we did.”