Woman killed, 17 injured in UJ stampede

A desperate attempt to claim a place at university for her child ended in tragedy for one parent when she was crushed to death in a stampede at the gates of the University of Johannesburg’s Bunting Road campus.

The woman has not yet been identified.

“One female died, 17 have been treated for minor injuries, and will be taken to hospital,” said emergency services spokesperson Nana Radebe.

“We received a call at about 7.30am this morning. It is alleged that the stampede occurred just after they opened the gate,” she said.

A disaster bus was also on the scene helping the injured, three of whom were in a serious, but stable condition.


University spokesperson Herman Esterhuizen said further details would be released at a press conference at the university at 10am.

Registrar Marie Muller told eNews channel that the incident happened as students queued for last-minute applications to the tertiary institution.

The university received 5 000 new applications on Monday.

It was turning away people still outside the campus and trying to get in on Tuesday morning.

Muller confirmed that the university had since closed the gates and would not be accepting any more late applications, saying that there were at most 600 additional spots for the 6 000 applicants who have been queuing throughout the night at the Bunting Road campus.

Late applications are an annual phenomenon as thousands of matric graduates flock to universities in the hopes of gaining acceptance to study further.

One prospective student said, “We rushed the gate because we need to register — we need education. People ran over each other and were jumping over fences.”

UJ is one of the few universities that take last-minute applications after the January release of matric results, when matriculants may find that they achieved an unexpected university entrance pass.

Matrics were alerted to the late application opportunity through the university’s email and SMS campaign.

The Star newspaper reported on Tuesday morning that there were only 11 000 first-year undergraduate places at UJ and the university has already provisionally accepted 17 000, subject to their matric results and space. As many as 5 000 applications were accepted on Monday alone.

A traumatised Wilson Matiba was present when the stampede occurred.

“Things got out of hand. We rushed the gates and people fell. We couldn’t stop,” said Matiba, who is trying to enrol for a BSc degree in zoology.

Matiba said prospective students were desperate and felt left without any alternative other than storming the entrance.

“We need education. We need to register. We needed to get inside,” he said.

Concerned parents remained outside the entrance after the incident, continuing their efforts to get their children enrolled at university.

“They treat these kids like pigs. How can we trust them to give them an education?” said Patricia Moshoeng, whose son, Caleb, had been queuing outside the entrance since 4pm on Monday.

“His phone is now off and I can’t find him,” Moshoeng added.

  • A previous version of this story had the headline ‘Women killed, 17 injured in UJ stampede’. In fact, one woman died in the incident. The headline has been corrected.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Sapa Afp
Guest Author

Related stories

The president, the preacher and the great escape

Malawi’s new president was furious after Shepherd Bushiri’s dramatic disappearance from South Africa

Patel: South Africa on target to attract R1.2-trillion in investments

The trade minister says the country is on track to reach more than R1-trillion worth of investments over five years, despite Covid-19 disruptions

Obituary: Literary allrounder Stephen Gray was a scholar, critic, novelist and poet

Stephen Gray made an immense, long contribution to the South African literary landscape across many genres, but it was poetry that he described as ‘the main activity of my life’

South Africa must revisit and refresh its idea of itself

Covid has propelled citizens into feelings of a new shared identity in which the historical force of ‘whiteness’ is fading into irrelevance

Institutions of higher learning should commemorate their casualties

The bust of Matikweni Nkuna at Tshwane University of Technology is an example of how we should honour those who fought for equal access to education

Seals abort pups in mass die-off

There are a number of factors — a pollutant, virus or bacteria or malnutrition — that may have caused the 12 000 deaths on Namibia’s coast.
Advertising

Subscribers only

Covid-19 surges in the Eastern Cape

With people queuing for services, no water, lax enforcement of mask rules and plenty of partying, the virus is flourishing once again, and a quarter of the growth is in the Eastern Cape

Ace prepares ANC branches for battle

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is ignoring party policy on corruption-charged officials and taking his battle to branch level, where his ‘slate capture’ strategy is expected to leave Ramaphosa on the ropes

More top stories

Sudan’s government gambles over fuel-subsidy cuts — and people pay...

Economists question the manner in which the transitional government partially cut fuel subsidies

Traditional healers need new spaces

Proper facilities supported by well-researched cultural principles will go a long way to improving the image and perception of the practice of traditional medicine

Did Botswana execute ‘poachers’ ?

The Botswana Defence Force’s anti-poaching unit has long been accused of a ‘shoot to kill’ policy. Over 20 years the unit has killed 30 Namibians and 22 Zimbabweans

Limpopo big-game farmer accused of constant harassment

A family’s struggle against alleged intimidation and failure to act by the authorities mirrors the daily challenges farm dwellers face
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…