Ellis Park Stadium Disaster

ON this day in 2001 fans of the Orlando Pirates and Kaiser Chiefs gathered excitedly for a match between the two rivals – the biggest derby game in South Africa – at the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg.

Tragically, 43 of those fans would never return home when they were killed in a massive crush inside the ground in the worst sporting accident in the history of South Africa.
The accident was caused when an estimated 30,000 extra fans tried to cram into the already full 60,000 capacity stadium.
BBC reporter and lifelong Orlando Pirates fan Milton Nkosi was at the match to support his team in the biggest game of the season, but ended up witnessing the horrific scenes.

The questions about the Ellis Park disaster that have haunted South Africa for a year-and-a-half have finally been answered.

The commission of inquiry into the tragedy has found numerous parties to blame. The final report, drafted by North West Judge President Bernard Ngoepe, was released on Thursday and lists 14 reasons for what happened on the night of Wednesday, April 11 2001 - South Africa's worst soccer disaster.

But for those who have been waiting to hear who should be held liable for the crushing to death of 43 soccer supporters, there is no clear answer.

The South African government is promising a swift inquiry into the worst disaster in the country's sporting history, which saw 43 people crushed to death at a Johannesburg stadium.

A judicial commission will examine the events that led to the tragedy, in which about 250 others were injured, at the Ellis Park Stadium on Wednesday.

South African President Thabo Mbeki said the aim was to make sure that such accidents could be avoided in future.

The Ellis Park Stadium disaster was the worst sporting accident in South African history. On the 11 April 2001 spectators poured into the Ellis Park Stadium in the city of Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, South Africa for the local derby football match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. There was already a 60,000 capacity crowd in the stadium, but reports suggest a further 30,000 fans were still trying to gain entry to the stadium. Reports also suggest that 120,000 fans were admitted into the stadium. An Orlando Pirates equaliser sparked a further surge by the fans trying to gain entry as they scrambled to see what had happened. Notable people such as Dumisani Sibindi was at the match.