THE DEATHS of two soccer fans during the Soweto derby are haunting Power FM sports presenter Thabiso Mosia as he is being sued for R1.5-million.
This comes after the CEO of Stadium Management South Africa, Jacques Grobbelaar, filed papers at the South Gauteng High Court in Joburg claiming that he was defamed and portrayed as not caring about the loss of the two lives at the FNB Stadium during the Carling Black Label Cup game between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in July.
The PSL has stopped its investigation into the incident.
According to court papers, Grobbelaar was interviewed by Mosia twice following the incident. “During these interviews, and in words, tone and manner the precision (sic), full detail and context of which are apparent from the recordings aforementioned:
“Mr Mosia asserted that Mr Grobbelaar and/or Stadium Management was not taking, and/or was avoiding responsibility for the incident;
… was not giving ‘straight answers’ to questions put to him;
… he had been told [by a source] that turnstiles at FNB Stadium did not work;
… security personnel working at FNB, at the time and place of the incident, had been ‘taken off the street’;
… there was no ‘disconnect’ between the plans and preparation by Stadium Management for the football match and their eventual execution;
… medical personnel had only been called more than half an hour after the deaths;
… that he had been told [by a source] that scanners at FNB did not work,” read the documents.
He also told the court that Mosia never gave him an opportunity to respond to the allegations, and at times he interrupted him whenever he wanted to speak during the interview.
What appears to have irked Grobbelaar the most, according to his papers to the court, was Mosia’s reference of the Ellis Park incident at which 43 soccer fans lost their lives during the game between Pirates and Chiefs in 2001.
Grobbelaar said Mosia asked him about his role at the time of the Ellis Park disaster and he said the sports presenter asked him whether he was head of security at the stadium.
He further complained that Mosia was aggressive and antagonistic during the course of the interview.
Grobbelaar said Mosia’s utterances were false and defamatory in their nature, with the sole purpose of defaming him and his employers.
The documents show that Mosia and Power FM were issued with a letter of demand but did not budge.