R2.6 million to fix damage caused by fans at Moses Mabhida Stadium

Hundreds of fans invaded the pitch and assaulted security personnel, burned the seats around the venue, and damaged broadcast cameras

The eThekwini Municipality and Moses Mabhida Stadium management are left counting the costs of last weekend's fan violence at the venue. 

Angry fans invaded the pitch and vandalised the venue following Kaizer Chiefs' 2-0 loss to Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals. 

According to eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede, it will cost at least R2.6 million to fix the damage caused by the fans; the majority of whom belonged to Amakhosi. 

Television cameras were damaged and other equipment vandalised, while seats around the stadium were also ripped out and burned. Over 500 seats were destroyed on the day, Gumede confirmed. 

Gumede also confirmed that the city opened a case with the SAPS and that two arrests have already been made as reported earlier this week. 

Meanwhile, Moses Mabhida Stadium manager Vusi Mazibuko said the responsibility for providing security rests with the high command at SAPS for sport events that are of high risk and medium risk. 

However he conceded that it's easy for spectators to invade the pitch for three reasons. 

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"The pitch is easily invaded because it is designed for the pitch to be an assembly point in case of emergency. The design also caters to the spectator experience. It is also a multipurpose stadium. So, it's not just a football stadium," Mazibuko said. 

Mazibuko further revealed that Chiefs are not paid for taking some of their games to the Moses Mabhida Stadium, but said the stadium management has a three-year contract with the Soweto giants where the first 22 000 tickets sold stays with the stadium. He further said the stadium covers all the match costs.  

"There's a perception I want to deal with. The city doesn't pay Kaizer Chiefs to come here. The city has a three-year contract that states three league games and two knockout games will have to come to Durban," said Mazibuko.