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