The Gaborone International Music and Culture (GIMC) festival held at the National Stadium on Saturday ended tragically after a young woman died as a result of a stampede at one of the gates.
The festival that featured international artists such as Mafikizolo, Cassper Nyovest and Prince Kaybee, attracted multitudes at the venue.
The police confirmed that they were investigating the death of a woman and six cases of knifing that occurred at the event.
Central Police Station commander, Superintendent Vincent Pitseetsile said there was a stampede at one of the gates, especially the one that was not in use, but spectators wanted to force their entry through it.
The young woman lost her life by that gate as a crowd wanted to force their entry into the stadium through that gate. “ It appears that the woman fell down and others stampeded her to death,” Pitseetsile said.
He stated that the woman, names withheld, was rushed to Princess Marina Hospital where she was certified dead on arrival.
“The event attracted multitudes. I witnessed the stampede. We tried to calm the situation, but it was not easy because people flocked that gate in huge numbers. However, investigations on the matter are ongoing,” he said.
In addition, the police are investigating six cases of stabbings all recorded from the event.
“Six people sustained injuries after they were stabbed with knives whilst resisting with their phones and fighting with thieves in the process. Some
Pitseetsile said they suspect that criminal syndicates took advantage of the event and attacked revellers.
“Luckily, the victims who were stabbed survived with minor injuries and were taken to hospital where some were discharged,” he said.
The officer said that phones were stolen in large numbers, whilst some cars were broken into. He disclosed not to have recorded any rape or motor vehicle theft at the event.
Pitseetsile advised that in future when such crowd-pulling festivals are held, the organisers should involve all stakeholders to beef up security. “When there is a festival or any entertainment event, thieves come in large numbers with a mission to steal people’s valuables, hence the need to tighten security,” Pitseetsile said. Revellers took to Facebook to register their anger with the event’s organisers, as they felt they compromised the event’s security by not providing enough security.
They highlighted that there was no security inside the stadium, which that gave the thieves carte blanche opportunity to harass spectators and steal their valuables.
The GIMC organiser, Thapelo Pabalinga released a statement regretting what transpired at the event and stating that they too investigating the source of the troubles.