Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates Commemorate Orkney Stadium Disaster

Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates Commemorate Orkney Stadium Disaster

Keba Mothoagae
  • 13 January 1991 remains a dark day in the history of South African football and sports
  • More than 40 spectators were killed at the Orkney Stadium in the North West province in a stampede while watching Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates
  • The solemn occasion was not lost on the Amakhosi and Buccaneers, who commemorated the tragic event

South African football has been pockmarked by many tragedies before.

The Orkney Stadium Disaster is one of them, though it is as if it was largely forgotten. On 13 January 1991, 42 soccer-loving spectators lost their lives in a stampede that occurred during a Soweto Derby encounter between arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

kaizer chiefs, orlando pirates, ellis park stadium disaster, orkney stadium disaster, 13 january 1991
Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates commemorated the Orkney Stadium Disaster which happened on 13 January 1991. Image source: @KaizerChiefs and @orlandopirates.
Source: Twitter

According to The Citizen, there was not nearly enough personnel to control the crowd at the 23 500-seater in the North West town, with a lot more people like that pitching up for the match, causing the stampede.

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Pirates tweeted:

“We shall never forget.”

Chiefs wrote on its Twitter account:

“We pause today to remember the Amakhosi and football fans who lost their lives in the Orkney disaster at the Oppenheimer Stadium on 13 January 1991. Our thoughts as always are with their families as we continue to keep them in prayer.”

Chiefs and Pirates compared to Eskom

Let us all face facts: only the names of Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates remain and not their playing ability.

The Amakhosi and Buccaneers are miles and leagues behind Mamelodi Sundowns, who relentlessly continue to dominate South African football as far as the eye can see.

Noting the mood of the country and analogising it perfectly, Jonty Mark wrote in The Citizen about the fortunes of these three clubs in relation to failed parastatal Eskom.

Peprah to join Maritzburg United

Ghanaian forward Kwame Peprah is set to join South African Premier Soccer League side Maritzburg United in the January transfer window.

The former King Faisal forward is out-of-favour at Orlando Pirates as he struggles to make the first team since the arrival of Erasmus Kermit and Bienvenu Eva Nga.

According to Kick Off, Orlando Pirates have agreed on a loan deal with Maritzburg for the transfer of the 22-year-old.