Sedru suspends Kowie United’s home games


The South Eastern District Rugby Union (Sedru) have suspended 1st division club Kowie United’s home games after referee Nqaba Lamani was abused by spectators in their league fixture against Makhanda’s Swallows at Station Hill Ground on Saturday May 20.

Sedru’s vice-chairperson Deon Hilpert said they had informed the club of their decision.

“We took the move to ban the staging of home matches which will be in place until Kowie can prove to us as a sub-union that no such incidents as what happened on Saturday, will occur in the future,” said Hilpert.

“They need to act against unruly spectators to ensure  referees, players and other fans’ protection. There are also structural problems at the ground … for one the broken fence  that separates the ground from the entrance area and beyond has to be fixed even if it’s only temporarily. Glass bottles and any glass items should not be coming in to the stadium either,” said Hilpert.

Hilpert said Sedru officials were busy drawing up a list of charges concerning last weekend’s Station Hill fixture,  based on reports from match and club officials. Once those are completed – this week – the necessary steps will be taken to begin disciplinary proceedings around the incidents. One of the reports indicated that Lamani had been allegedly slapped.

Sedru has therefore moved Kowie’s league fixture against Klipfontein that was scheduled for Station Hill this weekend to Klipfontein’s home ground. “We are still waiting for Klipfontein to give the thumbs-up. If the game is played there it will be the first rugby game to be played at their new facility in Klipfontein,” said Hilpert.

Klipfontein had their ban on home games lifted after similar incidents played out in their match against Makhanda’s Swallows a few weeks ago. “Klipfontein have put measures in place to guarantee referee safety and safety overall after that incident. They have taken action against the culprits and  banned them from attending matches at their ground. So we are happy they have met all the requirements to have their ban lifted,” said Hilpert.

“We are taking strict action for the the sake of our communities,” said Hilpert.

A match between Brumbies of Makhanda and Born Fighters was called off at halftime a few weeks ago in Makhanda after the referee lost patience with the abuse directed at him. Brumbies were awarded the four points.