Mom killed, 22 people injured in UJ stampede

10 January 2012 - 15:48 By Sapa

A woman was killed and 22 other people were injured during a stampede at the University of Johannesburg on Tuesday morning, Johannesburg metro police said.

Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said the woman died at a gate inside the university.

"At this stage we do not know the cause of the stampede and it will be investigated," he said.

"Dozens of our officers were at the institution to control the traffic outside the premises as part of our support when the incident happened."

Video: University of Johannesburg stampede

Minnaar said the injured, seven of them seriously, were taken to different hospitals. He said the dead woman was believed to be in her early 30s.

University of Johannesburg's Vice Chancellor Ihron Rensburg said the management would negotiate with the police to find ways of avoiding the stampede in the future.

Addressing reporters during a media briefing, Rensburg could also not reveal full details on the incident.

"We will announce the outcomes of the investigation at a later stage," he said.

"All I can say is that the dead woman was a parent of a prospective student who was a late applicant."

Rensburg said the volume of applications for the current academic year was 85,000, much higher than the 67,000 of last year.

He said 99 percent of this year's applicants were seeking admission for undergraduate studies.

Rensburg described the University of Johannesburg as a totally different academic institution to many other universities in Gauteng.

"We are the only university that offers diploma courses at undergraduate level. Our undergraduate entry requirements make many high school graduates apply to this institution because of the high chances of being admitted," he said.

The university is one of few universities countrywide that accepts last-minute applications from prospective students who achieved unexpected university entrance passes.

President of the Student Representative Council (SRC), Tendani Nembidzane, blamed university management for the stampede.

He said there were no notice boards at the gates of the institution to notify first-time applicants about registration venues and processes.

"There are hundreds of first-time applicants who have been wandering around here for many hours, not knowing where they had to go and register," he said.

"Some of those people came from other provinces and slept inside their cars."

Nembidzane appealed to management to improve the registration system so that all applicants could be accommodated. He also called on high school pupils to apply for admission while they were still in grade 11 in order to avoid being late.