Remembering #EllisPark43

Today marks the 16th year since I lost my father in the tragic stampede at the Ellis Park stadium during a football match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

As I watched from my home, injured and lifeless bodies were carried out onto the football pitch, little did I realise that my father would be one of 43 lives lost that night.

I don’t have many memories of my dad, but I will always remember how much he loved his Orlando Pirates, perhaps so much so that he even died for the game.

Last year, however, a good Samaritan, Mr. Herbert Mensah, former chairman of Asante Kotoko and current President of the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) invited Ntlakanipho Zulu (who lost both his parents at the stampede) and myself to Ghana.

We were invited to partake in a commemoration event that sought to honour and remember, not only the Ellis Park event, but also the 127 lives lost during a league game between the Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko, in Ghana which happened a month after the April 11 incident.

This was only time I stopped mourning and celebrated my father’s life and his love for football.

I know it is long overdue but I hope this time next year, the families of the victims will join hands in celebrating our fallen loved ones together.

To my father, Steven Modise Tshetlo, robala ka kagiso.

Here’s to remembering the other 42 people who today are no longer with us, wishing their families love, light and healing.

Madikana Samuel Selepe, 39, Diepsloot

Johannes Mandla Mthembu, 36, Palm Springs, Vaal

Johannes Motlasi Letsoara, 35, Potchefstroom

Sphiwa Esrome Mpungose, 13, Burgersdale, West Rand

Ivan Jeffrey Bezuidenhout, 39, Potchefstroom

Mbulelo Diniso, 25, Orlando East

Veleta Eunice Mouton, 26, Windmill Park, East Rand

Rosswin Andre Nation, 11, Ennerdale Pretty

Lephina Phatsisi, 26, Balfour

Jabu Maliyon Mkhize, 33, Delmas

Alpheus Sethlake, 41, Alexandra

Gideon Mudau, 34, Kromdraai, Midrand

Jabulisile Xaba, 25, Berea, Johannesburg

Danny Tigerls, 30, Pietersburg

Angelina Mncube, 28, Joubert Park, Johannesburg

Callistus Dumisani Dube, 29, Balfour Park, Johannesburg

Mduduzi Thomo, 27, Jabulani, Soweto

Tsietsi Daniel Wae, 54, Kagiso

Michael Tsolo Nyakane, 41, Orkney

Steven Modise Tshetlo, 42, Delpark, East Rand

Calvin Arnolds, 34, Ennerdale

Lefa James Lefera, Gauteng

Rakgabo Frans Shongoane, 34, Pretoria

Ernest Mandla Moyo, 33, Berea, Johannesburg

John Oupa Mbambata, 34, Delareyville

Deborah Selina Maphanga, 25, Duduza

Thandi Merrium Thabethe, 23, Standerton

Abel Tshabangu, 35, Diepkloof, Soweto

Elias Ngomane, 21, Johannesburg

Nkosana Elliot Hlongwane, 40, Katlehong

Nhlanhla Meshack Zulu, 30, Duduza

Raymond Mfana Gwala, 47, Zamdela

Senki Jacob Mzizi, 47, Tsakane

Stanley Tshikovhi, Tembisa

Selaala Pae Maloma, Schoononborg

Gugu Majozi, Jabulani, Soweto

Maggie Luthuli, Protea Glen, Soweto

Robert Molako, Atteridgeville

Kenneth Msimango, Thokoza

Frans More, Dobsonville

Jabulane Raymond Baloi, Tembisa

Bafana Isaac Mabuza, Tembisa

Mampo Rinah Ntsoane, Berea, Johannesburg

Mmakgomo is a Digital Content Producer at 702 and CapeTalk.

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