While thousands bask in the afterglow of Bey and Jay at last night’s illustrious Global Citizen, it’s quite alarming how many stories of violence and theft have emerged in the aftermath of a concert that was essentially about celebrating the enduring spirit of Nelson Mandela.
One set of tweets specifically caught my eye this morning and I felt a bit sick after reading them to be quite honest.
Tonight was both the best and worst night of my life. The best because I got to see Beyoncé and Jay Z live (& Ed Sheeran). The worst because this happened:
— Imaan (@imaan_moosa) December 3, 2018
Wow counted 17 muggings at the Sasol at FNB. Plus 2 stabbings and a smash and grab. #GlobaCitizenFestivalSA
— PanPan (@panda_pri94) December 3, 2018
TimesLive spoke to a witness, who was present at the chaos that unfolded at the Sasol post-concert, saying, “There was a couple walking in front of us. The next thing we knew the girl started screaming. They tried to grab whatever she was holding. It was such a mess. Everybody started running in between cars to avoid the thugs. Mind you, there were no police in the vicinity at all.”
Even our Minister of Police was forced to comment on the situation, ensuring SABC Morning Live presenter Leanne Manas that an arrest had already been made.
We found one of the Sasol thugs. I apologize for what happened yesterday. I will make sure that we found all of them. https://t.co/GyLweS5ZhS
— Minister Bheki Cele (@CdeBhekiCele) December 3, 2018
My question is this – if you’re putting on what’s arguably one of the biggest concerts of 2018, why would you not go to extra lengths to ensure the safety of ALL those in attendance? Not just dignitaries and celebrities who have their own private security anyway.
Quite simply, the lack of police presence and intervention in the crimes that took place is just plain sad.
It’s heartbreaking and it’s tough but even in the midst of celebration we shouldn’t forget that we live in one of the most violent countries in the world.