The Mass Mugging After the Global Citizen Festival Screams for Proper Policing

Concert-goers share their terrifying experiences

Some of the biggest celebrities and politicians in the world were on stage this weekend for the Global Citizen Festival. This included performances by Beyoncé and Jay Z, Pharrell Williams, and Ed Sheeran, even a speech by Oprah Winfrey and a whole address by President Cyril Ramaphosa. It was attended by over 80 000 fans.

A mass mugging followed the event. Audience members were attacked with knives and guns, mugged, stabbed and sexually harassed outside the Sasol garage while trying to leave the FNB stadium on Sunday evening. While the organisers are reportedly ‘deeply disturbed’, there was a major lack of police and security present after the concert.

While activists and politicians spoke about ending poverty and gender-based violence, this mass crime event left hundreds of concert-goers traumatized. Cohen and Ross pointed out in their article: You Can’t Fight Poverty with A Concert, ‘Global Citizen risks providing cover for politicians and companies rather than holding them accountable to young people who care about poverty”.


Concert-goers want to know where the police were:

See the footage via News24‘s video below:


Many people took to social media to share their terrifying experiences. Imaan Moosa’s first-hand Twitter thread recounts the violence in some detail:


The organisers, Global Citizen and the House of Mandela, had this to say on the incident following Sunday’s concert: ‘The safety of our guests is always of paramount importance to us and we understand and strongly empathise with their hurt and anger,’ – Andrew Kirk (global director of PR for Global Citizen).

Global Citizen also tweeted the following in response to the mass mugging:

Not everyone seems convinced:


According to News24, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department has arrested seven people allegedly linked to the attack. However, Twitter users have shared their police experiences and their accounts have painted a dismal picture:

Love to all those who endured violence and trauma after the concert on Sunday.

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