Chaotic scenes witnessed after festival in Johannesburg

Chris Martin and Pharrell Williams/ Instagram (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen)
Chris Martin and Pharrell Williams/ Instagram (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen)

Concert goers took to social media on Monday to share their harrowing experiences after Global Citizen Festival at FNB stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday night. However, police denied the claims.

Concert-goers said that they were harassed and robbed of their mobile phones and other valuables at knife point while leaving the venue. Some victims said that they were forced to seek shelter at a nearby filling station due to the criminal attacks.

“I honestly thought that I was going to die when I was outside FNB. They were hitting, mugging us and pulling women out of their cars,” Zweli Mbhele said on Twitter.

Another social media user wrote: “A group of 20 men stabbed teenagers who were waiting for their parents and took their cell phones. Men with knives and guns terrorized those waiting to be picked up.”

One woman who spoke to Xinhua said that she witnessed several stabbings and robberies incidences while waiting for her transport outside the venue.

“There were gangs of criminals taking people’s cellphones, handbags while they were requesting Uber and taxi. We never felt safe outside the venue,” she said on condition of anonymity.
However, national police spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo told Xinhua that only one robbery case was reported to the police after the music festival.

“We only have one case reported to us and the suspected was arrested immediately. This person was robbed of her cellphone next to stadium and we acted quickly,” he said.

“The police had a comprehensive operational plan. We policed the area during and after the concert on foot and using vehicles. People should report crime, instead of using social media,” Naidoo added.

The Global Citizen Festival, which had global superstars such as Beyonce, Jay Z and Usher, was a resounding success. Billions of dollars were raised in an effort to eradicate poverty and other socio-economic problems the world is confronted with. Enditem

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