Never forget the 43 who died at Ellis Park

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Today marks 19 years since the stampede that claimed 43 lives at Ellis Park Stadium in 2001.

At just 11 years old, Rosswin Andre Nation was the youngest fan to die on that fateful day, which will forever remain one of the saddest moments in the history of SA football.

It was on a Wednesday – a rather bad choice of date for a match of that magnitude: the Soweto Derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

With both sides fighting for League honours a big crowd was expected at the 60 000-seater venue and it’s estimated that at least 90 000 fans were made their way to the stadium.

To make matters worse, tickets at the time were sold at the stadium. It has been reported that tickets were sold out by 19:15 ahead of kick off at 20:00. It’s alleged that the gates were broken down and fans surged into the already packed stadium. Chiefs opened the scoring early on through Tony Illodigwe and when Benedict Vilakazi equalised for the Buccaneers, it caused a stampede which resulted in the loss of lives.

Overcrowding was blamed for the stampede, which resulted in the match being abandoned. An official inquiry – the Ngoepe Commission – blamed stadium organisers, fans, League officials, police and private security guards for the disaster.

THE 43 THAT NEVER CAME HOME…

(Name of the deceased, age and place. Please note, some of the deceased’s information is missing)

  1. Madikana Samuel Selepe, 39, Diepsloot
  2. Johannes Mandla Mthembu, 36, Palm Springs, Vaal
  3. Johannes Motlasi Letsoara, 35, Potchefstroom
  4. Sphiwa Esrome Mpungose, 13, Burgersdale, West Rand
  5. Ivan Jeffrey Bezuidenhout, 39, Potchefstroom
  6. Mbulelo Diniso, 25, Orlando East
  7. Veleta Eunice Mouton, 26, Windmill Park, East Rand
  8. Rosswin Andre Nation, 11, Ennerdale
  9. Pretty Lephina Phatsisi, 26, Balfour
  10. Jabu Maliyon Mkhize, 33, Delmas
  11. Alpheus Sethlake, 41, Alexandra
  12. Gideon Mudau, 34, Kromdraai, Midrand
  13. Jabulisile Xaba, 25, Berea, Johannesburg
  14. Danny Tigerls, 30, Pietersburg
  15. Angelina Mncube, 28, Joubert Park, Johannesburg
  16. Callistus Dumisani Dube, 29, Balfour Park, Johannesburg
  17. Mduduzi Thomo, 27, Jabulani, Soweto
  18. Tsietsi Daniel Wae, 54, Kagiso
  19. Michael Tsolo Nyakane, 41, Orkney
  20. Steven Modise Tshetlo, 42, Delpark, East Rand
  21. Calvin Arnolds, 34, Ennerdale
  22. Lefa James Lefera, Gauteng
  23. Rakgabo Frans Shongoane, 34, Pretoria
  24. Ernest Mandla Moyo, 33, Berea, Johannesburg
  25. John Oupa Mbambata, 34, Delareyville
  26. Deborah Selina Maphanga, 25, Duduza
  27. Thandi Merrium Thabethe, 23, Standerton
  28. Abel Tshabangu, 35, Diepkloof, Soweto
  29. Elias Ngomane, 21, Johannesburg
  30. Nkosana Elliot Hlongwane, 40, Katlehong
  31. Nhlanhla Meshack Zulu, 30, Duduza
  32. Raymond Mfana Gwala, 47, Zamdela
  33. Senki Jacob Mzizi, 47, Tsakane
  34. Stanley Tshikovhi, Tembisa
  35. Selaala Pae Maloma, Schoononborg
  36. Gugu Majozi, Jabulani, Soweto
  37. Maggie Luthuli, Protea Glen, Soweto
  38. Robert Molako, Atteridgeville
  39. Kenneth Msimango, Thokoza
  40. Frans More, Dobsonville
  41. Jabulane Raymond Baloi, Tembisa
  42. Bafana Isaac Mabuza, Tembisa
  43. Mampo Rinah Ntsoane, Berea, Johannesburg.

RELATED STORY: The PSL from 1996 to 2002

By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa

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