Mandela charity concert featuring Beyonce and Jay Z marred by muggings

A spate of muggings marred a charity concert at which Beyonce, Jay-Z and other stars performed in honour of Nelson Mandela.

Tens of thousands flocked to the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday for a music festival also featuring Usher, Pharrell Williams, Oprah Winfrey and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

But muggings tarnished the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 event, which campaigns for girls’ education and an end to extreme poverty. Many members of the audience got tickets to the concert through charity work.

While the majority got home safely afterwards, others were targeted by thieves as they left the stadium.

The ANC has ruled South Africa since Nelson Mandela's historic rise to power in 1994
The concert was held in honour of Nelson Mandela

“The criminals were basically having a field day,” said Zikhona Tshona, a reporter for the South African news organisation eNCA.

“People’s bags are getting snatched, people are losing their phones, people are fighting in the midst of us looking for an Uber,” a reveller said in a video posted on YouTube.

He said there was a stampede when someone pulled out a gun.

The Global Citizen and another group backing the concert, the House of Mandela, said it was “saddened to hear the challenges people had while leaving the venue.”

It said it urged South African police “to act swiftly and efficiently.”

Police arrested one suspect after a mobile phone was stolen, Brigadier Vish Naidoo said.

“We find that there’s a lot of communication taking place on the social media platform, but that is not being reported to us,” said Mr Naidoo.

He added that it is therefore “very difficult for us to deny or even confirm that such things have happened.”

In 2013, thieves stole cash takings at the stadium after a Justin Bieber concert.

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