Gqeberha beachfront chaos leaves one dead
A party attended by at least 1,000 people turned chaotic on the Summerstrand beachfront on Saturday with bottles thrown at passing vehicles and a car guard left for dead.
Summerstrand Neighbourhood Watch chair Sean Tappan said the party had started at about 6.30pm with about 200 teenagers seen roaming the beachfront.
In a few hours, the number increased to about 1,000.
Tappan said the youngsters, who were intoxicated, had become disruptive at about 9pm, throwing bottles, urinating and singing loudly.
A car guard was found dead on the corner of Beach Road and La Rochelle Drive, where moments earlier a large group of youngsters had been seen running away.
The neighbourhood watch and police eventually managed to calm the situation.
“The car guard was lying on the grass and was face down. We checked his pulse, but unfortunately he had none.
“We covered him and called an ambulance, but he had died,” Tappan said.
He would not speculate on the cause of death.
Videos circulated on social media showed youngsters chanting and screaming at a Caltex garage while others walked and ran along the beachfront.
“We had heard rumours that such a party was being planned by youngsters, but it’s difficult to put in measures for such things when you don’t know when or where they would happen,” Tappan said.
“It was only when we noticed an unusually large number of youngsters along the beachfront in Summerstrand and Humewood that we figured out what it was.”
He said the neighbourhood watch had roped in the police as the situation quickly escalated.
“It was a disturbing sight. Many of them were heavily drunk and about 15 had passed out along the pavements. Some were being carried by their friends.”
Ward 2 councillor Renaldo Gouws said he had received many complaints about and videos of the incident.
“I find it incomprehensible the police or metro police were not aware this event was taking place.
“It was a planned event and the fact that thousands of students were able to go on until the early hours of the morning breaking bottles, urinating and drinking is incomprehensible,” Gouws said.
Police spokesperson Sandra Janse van Rensburg said a report would be released later.