This weekend, the highly anticipated Global Citizen Festival took place at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.
Though fans in their thousands enjoyed performances from both local and international artists such as Black Coffee, Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé, the festival was marred by incidents after the gates were closed. Many attendees were left complaining about the event’s lack of security.
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Said people took to Twitter to express their concern and recount their experiences of robbery outside the venue at a nearby Sasol garage. Some were also denied Uber rides.
Within a few hours, “Uber”, “Sasol” and the hashtag #GlobalCitzenFestival began trending.
“Can we please make an uproarious amount of noise about the incidentS that happened at the Sasol garage after the #GlobalCitizen concert. Masses of people were hurt and robbed SAPS DID NOTHING. This needs TO be known,” wrote one user.
a huge crowd of people were waiting for Uber’s at Sasol. everyone’s probably thinking “it’s kinda safe, what will happen?”. little did we know
(@sxmphxwerm) December 3, 2018
Can we please make an uproarious amount of noise about the incidentS that happened at the Sasol garage after the #GlobalCitizen concert. Masses of people were hurt and robbed SAPS DID NOTHING. This needs TO be known.
— Jamieyonce’ (@jleeangela) December 3, 2018
Post #GlobalCitizenFestivalSA was really hectic. We didn’t even stay for 5 minutes at Sasol and we were already running. Possessions were stolen. People were stabbed. I think I saw them try to hijack a motorcycle too
. I’ve never held my little sister that tight.
— Mwelakhe Zbedu (@Zweli_Mbedu) December 3, 2018
Young people, particularly women were placed in positions where they were exposed to violent thugs and men who were sexually harassing them.
The SASOL garage area was a complete horror movie.
It was a tale of two nights. On the one hand Beyonce. On the other mayhem.
— King of Leon. (@thenextbarack) December 3, 2018
Sasol is now suffering from bad publicity only because #GlobalCitizenFestivalSA organizers don’t care about people’s safety.
(@kagisolatane) December 3, 2018
Morning Live anchor Leanne Manas also recounted her experience on Twitter, and questioned where Johannesburg Metro Police were after the event.
@JoburgMPD where were you last night AFTER the #GlobalCitizenFestivalSA when people were being mugged & harassed by thugs?? You were everywhere BEFORE the show to ensure no one without access got in – but AFTER?? #Sasol
— Leanne Manas (@LeanneManas) 3 December 2018
According to more reports by Twitter users, Uber was also throttled due to demand, with some riders experiencing cancellations for short-distance rides. This comes after the event organisers suggested attendees travel with the ride-hailing service.
@Uber_RSA I’m from the #GlobaCitizenFestival and I stay 20 minutes away. Uber drivers refused to take me home because I stay near. My question is what’s the purpose for Uber? I didn’t know it had certain criteria like that, if I knew I wouldn’t have downloaded the app
— Refiloe (@RefiloeM30) December 3, 2018
Sasol and Uber Surge ruined people’s Global Citizen experience.
— Prof Sips (@Its_Spijo) December 3, 2018
Though all the specifics of the robbery and transport issues have not specifically been acknowledged by the event organisers, the Global Citizen Festival’s official Twitter account was “saddened” by the aftermath.
“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,” read the tweet.
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.
— Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 (@GCMandela100) December 3, 2018
The event was set to commemorate Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday as well as raise awareness and funds for poverty stricken countries.
Feature image: Global Citizen Festival