SEVEN Bulawayo men who were arrested over public violence following an abandoned soccer match between Highlanders and Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo last weekend were on Wednesday denied bail by magistrate Nomagugu Maphosa.
Noboth Sithole (42), Shepherd Dube (25), Wisdom Dube (30), Sylvester Gumbo (30), Shepherd Ncube (26), Raymond Nkomo (26) and Micah Masuku (49) were remanded in custody to September 27 for trial after they pleaded not guilty.
In opposing bail, the investigating officer Timothy Madzivire said the accused were facing a serious offence that attracted a lengthy jail term, hence were likely to abscond.
“It is in the public interest to keep the accused incarcerated for the betterment of peace and tranquillity in the community. The accused persons resisted arrest, were violent, militant and if released on bail they might incite other people to be more riotous,” said Madzivire.
The court was also told that the accused persons were captured on camera, observed by police, engaging in acts of violence that led to the abandonment of the match.
According to court papers, on September 10, a few minutes before half time, a section of Highlanders' fans invaded the pitch to register their displeasure over a referee’s decisions.
The accused reportedly threw missiles, thereby disturbing the general peace, order and security of the public.
Police used water cannons to disperse the marauding crowd as the soccer pitch and its environs resembled a warzone.
- Big send-off for Cont Mhlanga
- Inside sport: The right way to do it
- Highlanders’ away woes continue
- Inside sport: Let’s fight Zim football’s hooliganism menace
Four police officers were injured and a number of vehicles were damaged in the process.
Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe