Global Citizen and the House of Mandela are “deeply disturbed” by the reports of criminal attacks on concertgoers as they exited the event venue on Sunday night.
“The safety of our guests is always of paramount importance to us and we understand and strongly empathize with their hurt and anger,” Andrew Kirk, global director of PR for Global Citizen, said in a statement.
We reported on Monday that people leaving the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 event were attacked by gangs of juveniles and stabbed and robbed of cellphones and handbags, according to countless social media posts.
According to witnesses, the attacks happened in the vicinity of the Sasol garage, situated close to the FNB Stadium in Soweto, in the early hours of Monday morning.
Global stars such as Ed Sheeran, Eddie Vedder, Beyoncé and Jay-Z performed at the event, hosted by Mandela 100 and the Motsepe Foundation.
Vanessa Perumal, music publicist and managing director at JT Communication Solutions, told us that she had attended countless concerts as part of her work and had never experienced anything like this before.
“I can’t tell you how shocking it was,” Perumal said.
“We were walking with thousands of people past the buses towards the Sasol garage to get an Uber. Then we heard people screaming. It was the weirdest thing possible. Youngsters, boys, were running towards us and stealing phones and pulling bags off people. It was chaos, it was so unreal. How was this even possible?”
On Monday, national SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said: “We are only aware of one robbery, for which one suspect has been arrested. We have not had other cases reported to us yet.”
According to Kirk, “The South African Police Service [is] requesting all victims of wrongdoing to file a police report, which we strongly encourage.”
On Monday, countless people tweeted their personal experiences of being attacked following the event.