Maake: It's the supporters' fault
Posted: 31 July 2017 Time: 15:34
Kaizer Chiefs prominent supporter Saddam Maake says club supporters should shoulder the blame for the two fan deaths at the Carling Black Label Cup Soweto Derby.
Two people tragicly lost their lives as a number of supporters tried to force their way through the gates at FNB Stadium on Saturday, resulting in a stampede that injured several others.
Maake, who says he has been present at multiple previous disaster-struck matches, has given his account of what transpired on Saturday afternoon, and has since urged supporters to stop participating in "black market" ticket sales if they are to eradicate stampedes at football matches.
"The fans were wrong." Maake tells KickOff.com. "I was also there in Orkney in 1991, when [Fanie] Madida scored. I'm beginning to think maybe God has kept me so long so that I witness these bad things.
"I was also there in Zimbabwe, when teargas choked the likes of (Helman) Mkhalele during a Bafana Bafana match, that's why I'm even thinking of writing a book.
"Again on Saturday I saw everything. I will say this without any fear of being victimised. What happened on Saturday is our fault as supporters. Two weeks before the event we were clearly told that tickets were sold out.
"The game started at 3pm and gate E was full [at that time], and security was doing its job but there were also late comers trying to force their way in. I, as a Stadium Management ambassador, then advised the security to call for back-up as I could see there was going to be trouble.
"Indeed back-up arrived on horses and everything, and I then left and went inside the stadium. At 3:20pm someone told me there was chaos outside and people were getting injured. When I got there I found different kinds of people – those with proper tickets who came late, and people who were in possession of fake tickets that couldn't scan.
"There were also thieves who were there to steal people's cellphones, and those still selling tickets for up to R300 each. The problem started when those fake tickets couldn't scan, and people started pushing each other trying to force their way in.
"You know these things started way back in 1999, during the Vodacom Challenge days, when people were selling tickets at a higher-than-usual price in Durban. I approached the two [Pirates and Chiefs] chairmen, Mr Irvin Khoza and Mr Kaizer Motaung, but their response was that the people buying those tickets say it's their money that they are used to buying those tickets.
"At Ellis Park's gate 4 [in 2001] it was the same thing as Saturday's scenario, where people buy fake tickets and when they are told those tickets don't scan, they fight and force their way in."
Maake also proposes that stricter measures be put in place for late comers as well as people in possession of fake tickets.
"Take Chiefs and Pirates games to Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Botswana so that only people with tickets can travel, because this thing of not using seat numbers isihlulile [has failed]. When your ticket says 'Row 4', go to 'Row 4'. You see at rugby matches people use seat numbers very effectively," he adds.
"Also, if a game starts at 3pm, please, let's close the gates at 2:30pm – late comers should be kept 20 kilometres away from the stadium and only let in at half-time, but only those who are in possession of valid tickets.
"These people who are selling fake tickets must be arrested because as I've said before, instead of counting points we are now counting dead bodies."