'We should have responded better': Bheki Cele on Global concert fiasco

Minister of Police Bheki Cele.
Minister of Police Bheki Cele.

Police minister Bheki Cele has admitted that the police should have responded "better" to help Global Citizen concert-goers stranded outside the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg early on Monday morning.

"We should have responded better and promptly. A prompt response could have still been better," Cele said on Wednesday afternoon.

Cele was addressing the media in Cape Town on the developments following the Global Citizen Festival fiasco on Sunday night and into Monday morning.

Several concert-goers were attacked and mugged at an arranged pick-up area outside a Sasol garage, about a kilometre from the stadium. 

He denied that there was no police visibility at the scene.

"Six people were arrested and are in custody. How can you say there was no police?"

A total of 15 people have been arrested since the incidents of mugging.

Cele admitted that there was inadequate planning for the event.

"We could have not planned that people could assemble 3km away from the stadium [The assembly point was only a kilometre away]. Some of these things are giving us new lessons. The issue of Sasol is giving us new lessons," he said.

"At no stage will we sit here and say it was not the responsibility of the police to make sure people are safe," he said.

Police were criticised for allegedly turning victims away at various police stations when they went to make complaints.

Cele urged victims to open cases "wherever you want to open the case" and police need to transfer the case to the right station.

People claimed on social media that they were told by police officers that the Sasol garage was not in their jurisdiction.

"That can't be so," said Cele. "The South African Police Service are responsible for every inch of SA. There is no inch in the country that police can say they are not responsible for."

Police minister Bheki Cele told reporters that the police had planned inadequately after the Global Citizen Festival held in Johannesburg's FNB stadium on Sunday night descended into chaos as criminals attacked festival-goers at a petrol station outside the stadium. Six arrests have been made regarding the petrol station incidents.