Motaung commemorates Ellis Park anniversary

Kaizer Chiefs chairman Kaizer Motaung says he 'will never get used to talking about' the Ellis Park disaster on the 18th anniversary of that fateful day.

On April 11, 2001, 43 people were crushed to death in a stampede at Ellis Park Stadium during a Kaizer Chiefs-Orlando Pirates Soweto derby.

Motaung admitted that the anniversary still sends shivers down his spine.

“It is one fateful and unforgettable date. The picture remains vivid in my mind every time I think about that night,” reflected Motaung on his club’s website.

“I will not get used to talking about this. It happened, and it is part of our history. One philosopher George Santayana said, ‘Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it’.

“We are bound to refer to this unfortunate incident to renew and pledge our solidarity with the bereaved families and review the measures that were put in place as a result.

“The Ngoepe Commission was appointed by former President Thabo Mbeki to investigate the cause of the stampede and make recommendations to avoid a similar occurrence in the future.”

The Amakhosi boss sent his condolences to the family of the departed, while saying there would be a prayer ceremony and visitations at the famed stadium today.

“My deepest feelings of sympathy to the families that lost their beloved stays on. We always keep them in our prayers because we share their pain as the football family,” he added.

“The day is remembered in various ways by different stakeholders. A prayer ceremony at the stadium is part of the commemoration and I know there will be visitations to mark the day at Ellis Park Stadium to show respects.

“I wish to reiterate on behalf of the Kaizer Chiefs Family my condolences to the families and wish that the departed rest in the everlasting peace.”