Yesterday, the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 event took place at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. Over 80 000 people rocked up at the stadium after earning their tickets through taking action to raise awareness about extreme poverty. Stars like Ed Sheeran, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Oprah, Chris Martin, Cassper Nyovest, Naomi Campbell and more attended the festival and while the production was praised by fans around the country, the amount of crime fans experienced after the event marred the powerful impact the festival held.
Scores of fans fell victim to opportunistic criminals who used the festival as an opportunity to steal. Hoards of fans reported that their cell phones were snatched close to the Sasol garage on Nasrec Road – close to where the designated Uber pick-up point was arranged. Men and women were attacked while thieves took off with phones and bags while there was minimal police presence around the area.
The situation later intensified as reports of stabbings and a stampede continued to plague concert-goers. Fans were also shocked at just how much Uber prices surged after being promised that a cap would be put on trips leaving the stadium after 6pm.
“Every single comment, post, thread you read about the disastrous aftermath Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 BELIEVE every single word of it,” concert-goer Christopher Maider says. “Believe people when they say they were pick-pocketed, held up at gun and knife point. Believe people when they say the event security, City of Joburg’s Johannesburg Metro Police Department and South African Police Service’s were MIA after the show. NO event security to stop buses from blocking the general car park access way. No police and security presence on that horrific bridge thousands have to be herded to get out whilst pick pocketing was rife. I said this last night, you, Global Citizen, Big Concerts, Motsepe Foundation et-al put together a great day only to be marred by poor service delivery by YOUR “staff”, which sadly were paid to do that job.”
Meanwhile, the Global Citizen team put out an emotionless statement out on their Twitter page saying “After such an inspiring evening, we are saddened to hear the challenges people had while leaving the venue. We have been working to support people getting home safely.”
Hopefully this horrific experience after what was supposed to be an inspiring day is a catalyst for change when it comes to concerts at the FNB Stadium in the future.
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