An alleged official who appeared to be part of Orlando Pirates’ team entourage at Loftus Versfeld when skirmishes broke out with Mamelodi Sundowns’ security officials was carrying a firearm‚ the ranking police officer on duty that day has confirmed.
Sundowns have opened criminal charges against Pirates at Sunnyside Police Station for damage to property and assault on a security officer.
Colonel Jabulani Mahlangu‚ the VOC (Venue Operations Center) commander of the Absa Premiership match‚ drawn 0-0 on November 10‚ told SowetanLIVE on Tuesday that he had received a report on the day of an alleged Pirates official who had been carrying a firearm.
“The information that I got was that there was a firearm. And then our [SA Police Service] colleagues went in there and confirmed that the firearm was licenced‚” Mahlangu said on Tuesday.
“That person seemed as if he was an official of Orlando Pirates.
“The police could not charge that person because the firearm was licensed. The only thing is that the firearm is not allowed in the stadium.
“On that basis the person was not arrested‚ but he was also not allowed into the stadium.”
Mahlangu said he did not know the identity of the person who was carrying the firearm.
“I did not ask the name‚ because the only information they gave me as VOC commander was that the firearm was legal and the person was denied access to the venue.”
Sundowns’ acting general manager Yogesh Singh said Pirates officials had broken an emergency exit gate.
“Teams always enter through the glass doors in the middle of the main stand at Loftus‚” Singh said.
“The Pirates kit guys come about three hours early to set up‚ and they didn’t want to enter through the normal door. They wanted to enter through a gate where the ambulances are parked.
“We had said ‘No – every team enters through the main door’. We said we would allow them to take the bags in through that emergency door‚ but when the team arrived they had to go through the main door.
“SuperSport’s cameras are also set up to capture the team arrival there.
“But when the team arrived then again they wanted to come through the other gate. That’s where that whole other skirmish happened.”
Asked what reasons Pirates appear to have for not going through the normal door‚ Singh said he believed these were umuthi-related.
“Everyone’e entitled to their own beliefs but we’ve got security protocols‚” he said.
Pirates’ team bus apparently also parked in the incorrect space.
Singh said Sundowns are investigating a report of a Pirates official who had a firearm.
“We got the report yesterday [Monday] that one of their security contingent was carrying a firearm and was removed‚” he said.
“Imagine that. There’s a guy who our security are trying to push out because they are doing their job and this guy is carrying a gun.”
Pirates’ administrative officer Floyd Mbele said he had no knowledge of any Bucs official who was in possession of a firearm at Loftus.
“You are telling me something that I don’t know‚” Mbele said.
“Because when you say a Pirates official‚ who is the official? Why don’t you name the official so that I’m able to deal directly with the allegation?”
He said the club would prefer to comment on the charges laid by Sundowns once the details of the case emerged.
“We don’t know – we haven’t been summonsed or served with papers. So to that extent there is no comment from us today.
Meanwhile Pirates may be heading to relegation as part of sanctioning them over the unlawful in possession of Firearms