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Police planning did not extend to Sasol garage, says Cele

Police Minister Bheki Cele has admitted that there was no plan by police to cover a nearby Sasol garage following the Global Citizen Festival on Sunday.

Police Minister, Bheki Cele
Police Minister, Bheki Cele. Image courtesy: SA Govt News

Cele briefed the media on the security details and police deployment at the FNB Stadium in Pretoria on Wednesday.

“Our planning was not extended to the Sasol garage which is located around 3km from away from the stadium.

“We concede that the inadequacy and the lack of prompt response from the police may have exacerbated the situation and presented an opportunity for criminal activities,” said Cele.

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Chaos broke out at the Sasol in the early hours of Monday morning, shortly after the Global Citizen Festival wrapped up.

Several people were robbed of their belongings and some assaulted while they were waiting for transport. 

Cele said part of the reason that that festival goers moved to the Sasol garage, was a result of a lack of cellphone network and traffic congestion.

“Two things pushed people to assemble at the Sasol garage. One was the almost total collapse of the management of traffic, so people had to move towards where they believe they’d find the transport rather than the normal areas where it has been planned for because it could not reach there.

“The second one is that the unavailability of signal when they were phoning. This started at the stadium. The information is that near Sasol, there was signal” added Cele.

Six people have since been arrested for the crimes while 50 cases have been opened with police.

The arrested suspects appeared in court and will remain in custody.

They have been charged with common assault and theft. 

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