“I thought I was going to die…”
That was the one thought that ran through security guard Sabelo Maziba’s mind when angry fans attacked him following Kaizer Chiefs’ loss to Free State Stars at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday. Video footage of Maziba cowering on the ground‚ while he was beaten with chairs‚ punched and kicked by upset fans‚ went viral after the disastrous event.
Maziba was among 18 people who suffered injuries following Kaizer Chiefs’ loss in the semi-final of the Nedbank Cup. All the injured were treated and discharged from hospital.
The assault caught the attention of Johannesburg businessman Blaine Joseph‚ founder of Billion Forex Investments‚ who hired a private investigator to trace Maziba to offer to match his salary for a year.
Speaking to TimesLIVE on Tuesday‚ Maziba – who suffered mainly head injuries – said: “I saw them jumping the fence. They were coming onto the ground and I couldn’t stop them. They started hitting me. I just kept my head down.
“They hit me all over my body‚ everywhere. The pain is terrible‚ I’m not feeling well. I was very scared. I thought I was going to die. They just hit and hit‚” said Maziba, the 32-year-old KwaMashu father-of-one.
Maziba‚ who has been in the employ of Aneme Security for a year‚ said it was the first time he had experienced such violence at a soccer match.
“I’ve done many matches.. like Pirates and Sundowns and even Kaizer Chiefs‚ but this never happened before.”
He said he was moved by Joseph’s gesture‚ but was not willing to disclose how much he earns.
“I am excited and grateful. But I won’t say how much money I earn‚” he added.
Maziba is not sure if he will return to work.
Joseph said on Monday that he was prepared to match Maziba’s salary for a year.
While he did not know the exact amount‚ he had an amount in mind. “I wouldn’t be expecting him to be earning R1‚500 a month. I [am thinking I] would pay around R5‚000 a month.”
Joseph indicated he was not in a position to put the security guard on his company payroll permanently. “I don’t have a job for him. I can only hope that something good will come out of this for him.”
He also said he was not comfortable about going public with the gesture.
“But the only way I could reach out to him was through social media.”
He added: “For me it’s not about the money. It’s about helping someone in need.”
Meanwhile‚ eThekwini municipality has announced that it will hold a briefing after the violence that erupted at the stadium.
"Following an unfortunate incident where some spectators ran amok and vandalised infrastructure at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday‚ April 21 2018‚ eThekwini Municipality will host a media briefing to give feedback on the extent of the damage and what the plans are to repair the stadium‚" the city said in a statement.