We were supposed to talk about the entertainment, weren’t we, as Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, Usher, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Cassper Nyovest and the rest thrilled to a crowd of 100,000 during the Nelson Mandela Tribute Concert at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg-South Africa over the weekend.
Global Citizen, the advocacy group which put together Sunday’s concert in honour of Former South African president, Nelson Mandela, to celebrate a century since his birth also used the platform to successfully campaign for an end to gender inequality, poverty and social challenges to African youth- causes that were also championed by Mandela before his death in 2013.
Several of the world’s leaders, elite businessmen, celebrities and fronters of leading charity organizations including the World Bank President Jim Kim, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, English business magnate, Sir Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Naomi Campbell, either attended the event or committed to a charity which raised over $5bn dollars- at least five times more than expected.
But organizers Global Citizen were left red-faced as numerous reports of mugging poured in. Several concert goers were allegedly stabbed and robbed of their valuables by juvenile delinquents both during and after the event.
Although there was a heavy presence of security, the large crowds clearly overwhelmed the police who should have known and expected better. It is common knowledge how several major outdoor events in South Africa over the past years have been blemished by crime. The mostly juvenile criminals allegedly target dark, insecure spots to operate.
Although several handbags were snatched and several pockets picked at the concert, the worst was after the event had ended minutes after midnight.Thugs allegedly physically assaulted and stabbed at least ten people who used the Sasol garage path to find an Uber.
Global Citizen was forced to issue an apology on Monday after the event, posting to twitter
“The safety of our guests is always of paramount importance to us and we understand and empathize with their hurt and anger. In the spirit of the global citizen movement, we believe in holding power to account and therefore we urge the South African Police Services to act swiftly and efficiently.”
Meanwhile Stadium Management SA [SMSA] has laid the blame for inadequate security and safety of concert goers squarely at the feet of Global Citizen and the police by emphatically disassociating itself from the maintenance of security at the event.
It is also likely that South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa will address the issue after several celebrities urged him to deal with the crime canker engulfing the nation via social media.