The wildly popular Durban Day event, hosted by BP and East Coast Radio, ended in tragedy this year. A 17-year-old man was stabbed to death at the event, allegedly after a scuffle broke out just before rapper Khuli Chana was due to close out the show. The death has had widespread, varied reaction on social media, with some Facebook and Twitter users claiming the event was ‘overcrowded’ – there were 16 500 people at the event, held at People’s Park. Some raised concerns over security measures, and how thorough searches carried out before entry were. Others have defended the radio station, saying it cannot be blamed for the violent actions of individuals who attended. Below, is East Coast Radio’s official statement:
East Coast Radio’s General Manager, Boni Mchunu, went on-air on East Coast Breakfast this morning to confirm a fatal stabbing that took place towards the end of Durban Day 2015. “We want to offer our condolences to the family. There is no easy way to accept the loss of a human life and I think that we are both heartbroken and shocked at this incident,” said Boni.
“Police are investigating the unfortunate incident. We are in close contact with them we will give you more details as soon as we know.”
Responding to social media speculation that there was overcrowding at the event, Mchunu replied, “The venue wasn’t overcrowded. Capacity at People’s Park is determined by the city and the safety officer and we are guided by them. Whilst capacity was 18 000, ticket sales were capped at 16 500.”
On the question of security at Durban Day, Mchunu reiterated, “A lot of people are involved in an event of this size – this is why the city is involved, safety officers who’ve worked on some of the big events in the country, and our team. We are obsessive about safety – from a resource point of view, everything was taken care of.”
East Coast Radio and BP again convey their deepest condolences to the family and friends of the young man.