Minister Bheki Cele: Security at Global Citizen Concert

Speaker notes by the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele , Security at the Global Citizen Concert

Senior officers present,

Members of other government departments

External stakeholders

Ladies and Gentleman

Members of the media

A very good afternoon to you all

The purpose of the media briefing is to respond and to provide clarity as to what happened inter alia post the Global Citizen Festival Mandela 100.

Let me begin by expressing my sincere sympathy to festival guests who suffered trauma, loss, and injuries during that period in question. 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.

As the SAPS and the Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC) we are not here to point fingers as to who was in the wrong. As per the Event Safety and Security Planning Committee (ESSPC) all protocols have been followed and adhered to ensure the successful delivery of the concert with an exception of what occurred at the Sasol garage, which was unforeseen.

Our planning was not extended to the Sasol garage, which is located +-3km away from the stadium. However, unforeseen circumstances like failure of traffic management and congestion of mobile network pushed fans/people to the garage, which resulted in a chaotic situation.

Let us not shift our focus from the fact that the Global Citizen Festival Mandela 100 was an absolute success. We would like to thank everyone involved for their contribution and further apologize on behalf of the ESSPC, IMC and all other people who were involved in the organization of the event for any inconvenience caused, pain, trauma, injuries and any loss suffered.

We have been monitoring social media platforms as well as all other media platforms on how people have been describing their traumatic experiences. What we have up to this point is that one person received medical attention for shock and minor injuries after being bumped by a bus.

We have also noticed people saying that there were no police to be seen in and around the Sasol garage. We dispute the narrative that no police members was on site, I have in my possession, a video clip which was sent to me showing, a Booysens police van in the midst of the stranded crowds.

Indeed SAPS is the main stakeholder as far as the prevention of crime is concerned. We concede that the inadequacy and the lack of prompt response of the police may have exacerbated the situation and presented an opportunity for criminal activities.

Once again, I want to reiterate that it must also be acknowledged that the challenges experienced after the concert, collectively as government, event organizers, all stakeholders and Patrons must take responsibility.

Those who had become victims of such criminality have been encouraged to report to their nearest police station. Cases that have been reported since the 03rd of December are 50 thus far of which 5 are in court. To this end we want to thank those for adhering to our calls to register cases. Thus far 15 suspects have been arrested for various crimes committed. We have also called on all police stations to not turn anyone away that want to open cases.

South Africa has delivered many successful events and the Global Festival was policed in line with the classification of the event. The NATJOINTS had planned for a successful event, one that was free from incidents. Unfortunately, unforeseen incidents occurred which are very regrettable.

In conclusion, as the South African Police Service, we are committed to ensure that future incidents of this nature will be attended to with utmost efficiency to avoid a repetition of what transpired on Sunday/Monday. Police will, at all relevant times, stay true to our vision to ensure the safety of the citizens of South Africa. Although we have to take collective responsibility of what happened, the SAPS will never abandon our constitutional responsibility to protect and serve the inhabitants of South Africa and uphold the law.

I thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa

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