Seven arrested for Global Citizen Festival crime spree

Seven suspects have been arrested for the Global Festival robberies that took place after the concert.
Seven suspects have been arrested for the Global Festival robberies that took place after the concert.
Image: MASI LOSI

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) has arrested seven people following a crime spree after the Global Citizen Festival in Soweto on Sunday.

Johannesburg public safety MMC Michael Sun said the seven were arrested for robbery, assault and others crimes.

“Many of the incidences reported on social media pointed to a gang of thugs attacking and robbing concert-goers at or near the Sasol garage, which is about 1.4km away from the FNB Stadium.

“We have learned that only one incident was formally reported, which goes in stark contrast to the many reports surfacing all over media," said Sun.

Festival-goers recalled the terrifying experiences that had them fearing for their safety after the concert. Some told of being involved in violent confrontations in and around the Nasrec Sasol garage as they waited for taxis.

Many detailed their stories on Twitter, with some explaining how they were mugged at gunpoint outside the stadium, with no police in sight.

Sun said the JMPD was responsible for traffic management and deployed 236 metro police officers, 104 patrol vehicles, 18 motorbikes and 11 horses to manage the traffic flow from 6am on Sunday to 7am on Monday.

According to Sun, the event safety and security planning committee (ESSPC) established a “safe zone” where people could be picked up by taxis.

“It is suspected that the e-hail taxi operators may have requested some of their passengers to walk to the nearby Sasol garage to be picked up, which was outside the safe zone,” he said.

The ESSPC is chaired by a police officer with the rank of captain or higher and consists of 12 or more safety and security stakeholders. They prepare a plan for the deployment of police officers, private security, emergency and essential services. The committee also outlines safety, medical and security measures and coordinates traffic and bylaw enforcement.

Sun said when the American rock band Guns N’ Roses performed at FNB Stadium on Thursday, about 65,000 people attended.

“The event was overall incident-free, except for one report of a suspected domestic violence incident,” he added.

TimesLIVE has obtained video evidence of the horror stories that emerged following the Global Citizen Festival in Soweto on December 2 2018. After the much-anticipated event ended, a number of people took to social media to share their experiences of violent crime that took place while they waited for transport home.


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