Police arrogance over Global Citizen concert criminality bodes ill for SA

The crowd at the FNB Stadium for the Global Citizen concert, Johannesburg, Saturday 1 December 2018. Picture: Tracy-Lee Stark

The crowd at the FNB Stadium for the Global Citizen concert, Johannesburg, Saturday 1 December 2018. Picture: Tracy-Lee Stark

The hyenas who circled terrified groups of people at a Sasol garage after the Global Citizen concert were not concerned about the police intervening.

From what planet was police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo speaking when he said in a TV interview the cops were only aware of one incident of criminality after the Global Citizen concert at FNB stadium on Sunday?

According to Naidoo, the police believe if a case is not reported, “it didn’t happen”. Effectively dismissing scores of complaints about the violent assaults, muggings and the attempted rape which took place in the stadium precinct after the concert ended, Naidoo said the police security operation in the area was a success.

This attitude to policing – arrogant, denialist and couldn’t care less – is the reason such blatant thuggish behaviour can take place at major events.

It escaped Naidoo’s notice – and apparently that of the police hierarchy – that many of the robberies and assaults took place in the presence of police officers and that, when some concertgoers went to the police for help, they were turned away.

The hyenas who circled the terrified groups of people huddled at a Sasol garage in the area were obviously not concerned about the police intervening. So they came in waves, brandishing knives and bricks, to rip away handbags and cellphones and, in at least one case, trying to rape a girl in front of onlookers.

This “heart of darkness” mentality has no place in a civilised society: no matter how poor or deprived you are, you cannot prey on your fellow human beings in such a depraved manner.

That they were able to corral people so effectively was because fans leaving the stadium were funnelled into a choke point because the security organisers and police had blocked off major roads to allow the VIPs to pass unhindered.

It was snapshot of South Africa: lawlessness, chaos, and sexism. Not the best global citizens are we?

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