Rigger Dies Amid Reported Violence Surrounding Global Citizen Festival

Rigger Dies Amid Reported Violence Surrounding Global Citizen Festival

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (CelebrityAccess) Siyabonga Ngodze, a rigger, fell to his death Dec. 1 while preparing the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 festival, an event marred by reports of armed robberies of patrons.

Ngodze, an experienced rigger, was setting up the event hosted by South Africa native Trevor Noah and featuring Beyonce, Jay-Z, Ed Sheeran, Eddie Vedder, Pharrell Williams and Chris Martin, among others, at FNB Stadium when he plummeted to his death, according to South Africa’s Sunday Times. The event itself was surrounded by a stampeded and robberies near a parking garage and unexpected Uber surge pricing.

“Global Citizen has been advised that the deceased was an experienced rigger and was wearing all appropriate safety gear and equipment. The circumstances around his death are being investigated,” a Global Citizen spokesman said. “Global Citizen extends our deepest sympathies to the family of the deceased and all of his colleagues and friends.”

Meanwhile, although the City of Johannesburg said it deployed 2356 officers and 104 patrol vehicles, among other dedicated services, for the event, patrons claimed there were no officers in sight near the Nasrec Sasol garage as it became the location for muggins and a stampeded, according to the Times. People’s possessions, including cellphones and bags, were stolen at gun- and knife-point while patrons reported they were physically attacked waiting for buses to the stadium.

The City of Johannesburg said seven suspects were arrested Monday in connection with the incidents, according to the Times.

The event reportedly had transportation concerns. Organizers and Uber had apparently worked out an agreement to charge standard rates to concert-goers but, in a statement, Uber said it switched on dynamic pricing.

“This was done to encourage more driver-partners to move into the specific area and stay on late into the night to cater for the demand to ensure that there were drivers available in the area,” Uber said in a statement to TimesLIVE.

Uber said it would refund customers affected by the surge pricing.

Meanwhile, there appeared to be an issue of city buses being delayed, and transporting people to train stops at 3 a.m., hours after they had stopped running.

 

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