- To be at police station when any match is being played at Kamuzu Stadium
Robert Bennet and John Dick—latest suspected perpetrators of football hooliganism and violence—will, when a match is being played at Kamuzu Stadium, spend corresponding time at a nearest police station.
Blantyre senior resident magistrate Chikondi Mandala set the precondition yesterday at around noon, when granting bail to the two Blantyre fans arrested during Sunday’s abandoned friendly match between Mighty Be Forward Wanderers and Silver Strikers at the stadium.
“The accused should not attend any football match played at Kamuzu Stadium and when there is a match, they should report and remain at the nearest police station for the duration of the match,” Mandala said about the case that returns to the chamber on March 31, when the state is expected to parade six witnesses.
Bennet, 30, and Dick, 40, who are also expected to report at Soche Police Station every Monday morning, had pleaded innocence to the ‘conducting in disorderly manner’ charge the State brought against them through Police prosecutor inspector Lyson Chavinda.
“I am much conversant with how bail is granted according to the constitutional right limited by the interest of justice,” Chavinda told the court before the bail was granted on the premise that the two had permanent residence and committed themselves to meeting bail conditions.
The State had charged the dreadlocked Dick and brush-haired Bennet of “throwing stones into the ground”, which is contrary to Section 113 of the Police Act. The offence carries a custodial sentence.
“I will abide by the bail conditions,” Bennet told the court before Dick chipped in: “I will be coming to report to police as ordered. I thank the police for coming to my rescue atandigwira ma maneba a Wanderers.”
The Kanjedza Forest security guard Bennet and Ndirande Township grocery shop owner Dick got the bail after providing surety and bail bonds of K7 000 each with an additional bond of K15 000 when each absconds bail.
Bennet’s wife—with a baby strapped on her back—and Dick’s mother in-law presented themselves as sureties.
Bennet is originally from Wile Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Chikowi, Zomba whereas Dick comes from Jimu Village, T/A Ndamera, Nsanje.
As post-bail application procedures were being finalised, Dick looked agitated with the sight of reporters, claiming: “Mukanakhala mumatha ntchito bwenzi mukujambula anthu akugenda miyala osati munthu womangidwa…mbiri yanga yaipa chifukwa cha ma reporter. Mpaka chinthunzi changa pa front page ndi pa FB [Facebook].” (If you were experts in your job you would have photographed those that were throwing stones rather than an arrested person…my reputation has been damaged because of reporters. You even went as far as having my picture on front page and Facebook (FB).
Sunday’s match marked the official launch of Be Forward’s K70 million sponsorship to Wanderers , but ended on the 74th minute at 1-1. Silver had scored first through Blessings Tembo, then Cuthbert Sineta equalised for Wanderers from the penalty spot to spark the controversy.
Anti-Wanderers fans pelted onto the pitch, protesting a red card which referee Waneck Mlenga flashed to Silver midfielder Ndaziona Chatsalira for fouling Cameroonian substitute striker Lionel Assu; minutes after dismissing Malata and awarding Wanderers the penalty. n