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#GlobalCitizen: Sasol garage fell outside SAPS security plan, says Cele

Police Minister Bheki Cele expressed sympathy to the victims and has urged them to lay criminal complaints.

Police Minister Bheki Cele and the SA Police Service management brief media on the security detail at the FNB Stadium during the Global Citizen Festival. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Bheki Cele is now responding to the chaotic and criminal scenes that played out after the Global Citizen Festival, claiming the Sasol garage, where most of those crimes were committed, fell outside of the police’s security plan.

Scores of festival goers have shared their horrific experiences in and around the FNB Stadium following Sunday’s event.

Many were mugged and harassed by thugs with initally seven people having been arrested in connection with these crimes.

The minister has told a briefing in Cape Town that police were not visible in the vicinity.

“Thus far, 15 suspects have been arrested for the various crime. We’ve also called on all police stations not to turn anyone who wants to open a case away,” says Cele.

The star-studded event was marred by a lack of security, with revellers describing harrowing scenes as criminals demanding belongings from some and stabbed others who were trying to catch their lifts home.

Many say police were either not on hand to help or simply turned a blind eye.

Cele expressed sympathy to the victims and has urged them to lay criminal complaints.

At the same time, Cele has denied claims that officers were nowhere to be seen during the criminal rampage that followed the Global Citizen concert.

“To say that there were no police to be seen and yet six people were arrested at the scene where the crimes took place, that’s a bit of contradiction.”

Cele has admitted that police were ill-equipped to patrol the area outside the FNB Stadium.

He says 50 criminal complaints have been opened.

TOTAL COLLAPSE OF TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT

Cele says a total collapse of the traffic management system around the FNB Stadium on Sunday night led to unforeseen security challenges after the concert.

The minister says he doesn't want to apportion blame but he has conceded unforeseen circumstances increased the risk of people being robbed and assaulted.

He says a thorough post-mortem was carried out on Monday, but he doesn’t want to apportion blame for the attacks on concert goers.

“There was a collapse of the plan when it comes to the movement of the people and the movement of transport going back home.”

Cele has denied reports from those close to security planning that policing orders were changed.

“There are things that were supposed to have happened that didn’t happen, if that is a deviation, I don’t believe so.”

Meanwhile, Stadium Management South Africa (SMSA) has said all those involved in the execution of the Global Citizen Festival failed in their mandate to provide safety.

But Big Concerts’ Justin Van Wyk says that by law, the police is responsible for providing safety.

Additional reporting by Kgomotso Modise.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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