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Thousands of soccer fans have stampeded the gates outside a stadium before a World Cup warm-up match between Nigeria and North Korea, leaving several people injured.
It was a goal by Nigeria that appeared to have triggered a stampede at the Makhulong Stadium that left 15 people injured, including a policeman trying to control the crowd.
Emergency officials are blaming the people that arrived late.
According to Ekurhuleni emergency medical services (EMS) spokesman Roggers Mamaila, between 6 000 and 8 000 spectators were outside the stadium when the stampede took place.
A witness, who did not want to be named, said the trouble began when Nigeria scored an early goal, causing the crowd to surge forward.
"They started pushing and people fell down, and they just walked over them," said a policeman involved in trying to control the throng.
A policeman at the gate, who eyewitnesses say was a member of the Springs Public Order Policing Unit, was trampled. He was taken to Arwyp Hospital in Kempton Park.
He was said to be in a serious, but stable condition.
The 14 others injured were taken to Tembisa Hospital.
Mamaila said EMS personnel received the emergency call at 4.14pm. They then activated a pre-emergency plan, which involved a 300-strong contingent of EMS, metro police and SA Police Force personnel.
The gate to the stadium was closed, preventing more people from entering.
Emergency officers said everything went according to the plan. "It was our plan to evacuate the patients within 30 minutes and we were able to do that in that time bracket."
In total, they mobilised six ambulances to complement the two that were at the ground.
By 6.30pm, police in full riot gear were still holding back crowds to allow both teams to leave the stadium.
England's security chiefs held an emergency meeting with World Cup organisers on Sunday night after safety concerns were triggered by a stampede at a friendly between Nigeria and North Korea near Johannesburg.
Hundreds of fans, holding what police said were photocopies of tickets, stormed a gate after the match had started at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa.
About 15 people were injured, including at least one child as well as a policeman who was seriously hurt when he was trapped under a gate.
When Lassy Chiwayo, the South African mayor of Mbombela municipality, received a text message on his mobile phone, it told him to keep his evidence to himself, warning "or you will go to your place in a coffin". Mbombela is a local government district that includes the busy town of Nelspruit near the Kruger game park in eastern South Africa, close to the Mozambique border.
His evidence relates to an allegedly corrupt tender process for constructing parts of the new World Cup stadium near Nelspruit, where holders Italy are to play their second match.
We have taken certain measures... but there are 24 hours in a day Mbombela mayor Lassy Chiwayo World Cup venues
The former speaker of Mbombela municipality, Jimmy Mohlala, also said he had evidence that tenders for the stadium had been improperly awarded.
Mr Mohlala is now dead.
At least three other men have been killed in connection with this affair, and another three have died strangely - possibly after being poisoned.
Mon, 01 Mar 2010 17:55
Transport officials will look into reports that several newly-built bridges and roads in Limpopo have been washed away, Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele said on Monday in an apparent reference to work carried out by a company owned by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.
The City Press newspaper reported on Sunday that several multi-million rand bridges and roads in Limpopo, built by SGL Engineering Projects in which Malema has the majority shareholding, had been washed away within weeks of their completion.