A statue but still no sports for Fezile Dabi Stadium in Tumahole

Issued by Dr Roy Jankielsohn MPL – Leader of the Opposition in the Free State
23 Sep 2021 in Press Statements

Note to Editors: Please find the attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Dr Roy Jankielsohn MPL, Leader of the Opposition in the Free State. Please also click here, here, here and here to view images of the oversight visit.

The Fezile Dabi stadium in Tumahole in Parys remains an expensive white elephant due to disputes over the ownership of the property on which it was built. This was clear from the neglected state of the stadium exposed by an oversight visit by DA Free State Leader Roy Jankielsohn, Member of the Free State Legislature Mariette Pittaway and DA Ngwathe Councillors.

The Free State provincial government will be erecting a R3,3 million statue to honour the late anti-Apartheid stalwart Fezile Dabi at the Fezile Dabi Stadium in Tumahole at Parys, but the 15 000 seater R98 million stadium remains a white elephant. There have been requests by soccer clubs to utilise the stadium which have been denied, while the state of the art facility is falling into a state of disrepair and decay.

The stadium was officially opened by the former Premier of the Free State, Mr Ace Magashule, on 28 November 2013 and has yet to host a sporting event. It is clear that much of the infrastructure in the Free State is built for tender purposes and not for actual use.

The ANC-led government in the Free State continues to abuse the names of anti-Apartheid stalwarts for commercial and political purposes before elections, while allowing their names to be tarnished by the neglect of that which is named after them. The Winnie Mandela House Museum in Brandfort is another example of this.

The DA believes that the people of the Free State must derive value from every cent spent on infrastructure in the province. The DA will continue to fight for the recognition and protection of the province’s diverse history and heritage that is reflected in various statues, monuments, museums and buildings across the province. Fezile Dabi who fought against Apartheid can be recognised alongside General de Wet who fought against British imperialism in the Free State.

The DA remains the only truly principled, non-racial alternative in the Free State and South Africa that unites all our people around our rich diversity.