Beat, kick, burn: In SA, the mob rules unchecked


Beat, kick, burn: In SA, the mob rules unchecked

The security guard at the Chiefs-Stars clash is the latest victim of a society where no one pays the price for violence

Sports editor and columnist: Sunday Times

A man in a white vest kicked the person sprawled on the floor hard in the face.
For good measure, the thug flung another kick to the torso. The person lay motionless. 
The person had been on the receiving end of a torrent of blows and was struck with plastic chairs by the bastard in a vest, part of a raging mob baying for blood like vampires on steroids.
The person was not Jean-Claude van Damme. The person was part of a Premier Soccer League security detail at Moses Mabhida Stadium where rioting Kaizer Chiefs fans raised hell when their team were beaten 2-0 by Free State Stars on Saturday night. 
The person was going to get a measly pay, which will probably not be enough to cover the medical costs accrued from the attack which left many other colleagues injured and a trail of infrastructure destruction running into millions.In the blink of an eye and in a frenzy of lawlessness, several fires were started as the stadium went up in smoke. Scores of people were walking wounded. 
I struggle to understand the madness in the method of visiting such violence on someone trying to make an honest living.
Did the victim miss the chances that Ryan Moon, Joseph Molingoane, Hendrick Ekstein, Leonardo Castro and Bernard Parker wasted? 
The victim certainly didn’t sign Steve Komphela who declared “to whom much is given, much is expected” when he was unveiled by Kaizer Motaung and Bobby Motaung on June 17 in 2015.
Komphela, who resigned with immediate effect in the post-match press conference, has given Chiefs fans grief – barren season after barren season.
They always get away with it
But what has ripping into the ribcage of that security guard achieved?
The guard was attacked because he belongs to a bunch of securities clad in yellow and orange reflector waistcoats who are inadequately trained to react to rioting lunatics. Lunatics who know that violence in this country has become a favourite pastime.A deputy minister of Education can do it during a drunken political argument. A kwaito star can do it in a fight with his musician girlfriend. An unknown DJ can panelbeat a woman with a spanner without a care in the world.
Many others do the same thing.
Lunatics who know that when results don’t go their way they can destroy everything in sight and get away with it.They know no one was arrested, tried and convicted for the mayhem at Loftus in February last year when Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates fans went on a free-for-all festival of fisticuffs – stuff the fact that there was a mountain of evidence from SuperSport and SABC footage.No one gave a rat’s ass that, having seen what transpired at FNB Stadium when a small section of angry Amakhosi fans rioted, security had to be tightened at Moses Mabhida. The crowd was always going to be bigger in Durban.
It always is when the Chiefs circus comes to town. Always. Like politicians, football bosses are too powerful to a point of no accountability. 
The attitude is to hell with the masses; we love their numbers to convince sponsors to open their coffers generously, but each to his own when the people die.
These days the victims of the Ellis Park disaster are worth a mere two-paragraph missive plus a tweet as a sweetener. What happens when a journalist asks hard questions about these things?
A club boss whips out his phone, rings the reporter and spends nine minutes and 41 seconds spitting every swear word in a sailor’s dictionary before signing off with: “Your problem is that you want to show people that you are not scared of anybody.”
Nobody must be scared of anybody? In a normal society, everybody must respect everybody. And that respect starts with self-respect. Self-respect that must dictate that nobody resorts to violence.
This is what we've become
As I type this, the SuperSport Blitz channel reports on the Chiefs-Stars match. No mention is made and no visual is shown of the mayhem that took place at the 2010 World Cup stadium. They would not rattle the cage or ruffle the feathers of the PSL. Never.
Look at the reaction on social media platforms. Many have condemned the violence with a BUT ... They deserve it. It serves them right. The only language they understand is violence. So we will give it to them. And so it went.
But that security guard does not belong to the Naturena family business.That guard is not Jessica Motaung. That guard is not the relative of any of the PSL executive and board of governors.
That guard had nothing to do with the fact that Komphela could not beat Orlando Pirates – except in the beer cup – during his stay at Chiefs.
They will continue doing it because they know they will get away with it. This is what our society has become.
The bastard in a white vest and his fellow barbaric travellers will continue to beat, beat, beat, kick, kick, kick and burn, burn, burn, because there will be no consequences for their actions.

This article is reserved for Times Select subscribers.
A subscription gives you full digital access to all Times Select content.

Times Select

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems?
Email or call 0860 52 52 00.

Next Article