Cele ad­mits to se­cu­rity fail­ure at Tata’s gig

Vic­tims of FNB may­hem urged to go to any cop shop

Sowetan - - News - By Zoë Ma­hopo

Po­lice min­is­ter Bheki Cele has ad­mit­ted that the fail­ure by po­lice to re­spond promptly to the mug­gings of rev­ellers may have wors­ened the sit­u­a­tion after the Global Cit­i­zen Fes­ti­val at the week­end. Cele gave an up­date on cases opened fol­low­ing chaotic scenes out­side the FNB Sta­dium where peo­ple on their way from the con­cert were at­tacked and robbed of their be­long­ings.

He con­firmed that 15 sus­pects were ar­rested and 50 cases had been opened. Cele, how­ever, de­nied re­ports that there were no po­lice of­fi­cers sta­tioned at the event but ad­mit­ted that the re­sponse could have been bet­ter.

“We dis­pute the nar­ra­tive that no po­lice mem­bers were in sight,” he said.

“We con­cede that the in­ad­e­quacy and lack of prompt re­sponse of the po­lice may have ex­ac­er­bated the sit­u­a­tion and pre­sented an op­por­tu­nity for crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties.” Cele said the safety and se­cu­rity com­mit­tee plan­ning did not ex­tend to the Sa­sol garage about 3km from the sta­dium where most of the chaos un­folded. He said traf­fic con­ges­tion and the fact that peo­ple could not ac­cess cell­phone net­works cre­ated a sit­u­a­tion where most peo­ple moved to­wards the garage.

“How­ever, un­fore­seen cir­cum­stances like fail­ure of traf­fic man­age­ment and con­ges­tion of mo­bile net­works pushed fans to the garage which re­sulted in a chaotic sit­u­a­tion,” Cele said.

Cele said six of the 15 peo­ple ar­rested where di­rectly linked to in­ci­dents of com­mon as­sault and theft which took place near the garage while the rest were ar­rested ear­lier on Sun­day.

He en­cour­aged peo­ple who were vic­tims of crimes after the event to re­port their cases at po­lice sta­tions in their ar­eas. Cele urged po­lice not to turn peo­ple away and reg­is­ter cases even though the crime hap­pened in an­other area.

He said the crim­i­nal at­tacks should not take away from the suc­cess of the con­cert. “Un­for­tu­nately un­fore­seen in­ci­dents oc­curred, which is

very re­gret­table.”

/ MASI LOSI

Po­lice min­is­ter Bheki Cele says crim­i­nal at­tacks should not take away from the con­cert’s suc­cess.

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