A stampede occurred at a Summerstrand beachfront in Gqeberha when police dispersed a crowd of teenagers who attended the annual Skhothane show, without masks or physical distancing.

According to the police, the teens took the show to the beachfront on Saturday.

In a video circulating on social media, the large crowd of teens can be seen dancing, drinking and partying at a nearby garage.

“Once police were alerted to the large gathering of youth, SAPS Humewood, Metro police and Public Order Policing responded and broke up the bash,” police spokesperson Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said.

She said that they addressed the teenagers and reminded them that lockdown restrictions were in place and that non-compliance with the Disaster Management Act could lead to their arrest. They were dispersed at about 11pm.

Ward councillor Renaldo Gouws told News24 that it was frustrating that, as a ward councillor, he had no say on safety and security.

“But the fact that the beachfront doesn’t have its own policing sector is really problematic and the event from last night clearly just, once again, demonstrates the need for the beachfront to have a sector of dedicated police officers and Metro police,” he added.

No cases of malicious damage to property were opened, but police are investigating a robbery which occurred in Beach Road, outside a café. It is alleged that three armed suspects approached a 16-year-old girl who was waiting for an e-hailing taxi on Saturday at approximately 23:15.

“They demanded her cellphone and threatened to stab her,” Janse van Rensburg said.

She added that one grabbed the phone and ran away. The other two became embroiled in a scuffle with her but Metro police intervened and arrested them. They have not established whether the complainant was part of the group of teens who attended the show.

Meanwhile, an inquest docket has been opened after a man died in La Roche Drive, also in Humewood, on Saturday night. Police said his death was not related to what transpired at the show.

According to Daily Dispatch, the man was a car guard. The publication spoke to the Summerstrand Neighbourhood Watch chairperson Sean Tappan, who told the publication that the man was found lying face-down on the grass. He had no pulse.

“We covered him up and called an ambulance, but he had died,” Tappan told the publication.

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