Football supporters dressed in colours of their teams were among those who came to pay their last respects at the funeral of Kaizer Chiefs supporter Prince Chauke.
Chauke, 30, from Bungeni village in Makhado, Limpopo, was one of two people killed during a stampede at FNB Stadium during the Carling Black Label Cup match between Orlando Pirates and Chiefs last week.
The second victim, Johannes Nkosi from Madidi, north of Pretoria, was also laid to rest at the weekend.
Nkosi was also a Chiefs supporter.
Chauke’s sister Fanisile said her brother was planning to throw her son a big party on the day of his burial.
“Prince, we should be in Mpumalanga today celebrating at your nephew’s party,” she said, looking at the coffin. “But instead, we are not celebrating, we are crying.”
Her emotional speech prompted a few other women in the tent, where the mourners had gathered, to start weeping.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Chauke’s uncle Steyn Mbuyane said the family would struggle to look after his child financially as Chauke was the breadwinner.
“Prince maintained and loved his child. He was a breadwinner at home. This is painful,” said Mbuyane.
“We are pleading for help because we don’t know what will happen to that child now,” he said.
Mbuyane also said the family were grateful for the support and contributions made by both teams towards the costs of the funeral, refusing to disclose the amount that the Soweto giants had contributed.
During his speech, popular Chiefs supporter Saddam Maake tried to educate people about the dangers of buying fake tickets.
Maake said it was disturbing that the country had lost 87 people through stampedes at football matches since 1991.
“We are no longer counting points but we are counting bodies,” he said.
He urged football fans to make it a habit to arrive early for matches and not to buy tickets in the black market.
Joy Chauke, who represented Pirates fans, said criminals must be stopped from taking advantage of people’s love of the game.
“My heart is broken that Prince Chauke and Johannes Nkosi have died in this manner. But what I can say about Prince is that he died a soldier,” she said.
The South African Football Association was represented by George Kubayi.