#GlobalCitizenFestival: Police response could have been better - Cele

Published Dec 5, 2018


Parliament - Police have arrested 15 people in connection with a various crime committed in and around FNB Stadium in Soweto before, during and after the weekend star-studded Global Citizen Festival in Soweto, Police Minister Bheki Cele revealed on Wednesday.

Addressing a media briefing following an outcry on social media platforms after scores of revellers were robbed and assaulted at a nearby petrol station while waiting for lifts from the concert, Cele said 50 cases had been reported to police. Six of those arrested face, among others, common assault and robbery charges related to the incident at the Sasol garage.

Cele said while a comprehensive policing plan was in place, there were "unforeseen circumstances", which included a "collapse of traffic management" and the fact that mobile network congestion and lack of signal had pushed people to the Sasol Garage to catch rides home.

He later acknowledged that police could have done more.

"It was inadequate and the police response could have been better," Cele said.

The minister however rubbished claims on social media that police were nowhere to be found near the area of the robberies, saying a police vehicle from Booyens police station had been patrolling the area.

"We dispute the narrative that no police members were on site...."

The minister said police were trying to trace suspects linked to the robberies.

"Those incidents, of which have been reported to the police, should not have happened. We condemn such incidents in the strongest possible terms and those found to have perpetrated the crimes will be tracked down and, together with those in police custody they shall face the full might of the law."

Several people posted on social media that they had witnessed chaos after the musical festival seeing armed thugs robbing people of their cellular phones and other belongings.

African News Agency (ANA)