Stampede must be probed: Govt

2012-01-11 07:09

The government has called for a “full investigation” into the death of a woman during a stampede at the University of Johannesburg.

“This is an unfortunate incident,” government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said in a statement last night.
“The improvements in matric pass rates ...

should be cause for celebration, not tragedy ... This is an unfortunate incident which we hope will be fully investigated.”

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) said yesterday that it would investigate the stampede, in which 22 people were injured, two of them critically.

Manyi sent his condolences to the affected families.

In a report today, The Times newspaper identified the woman who died as Gloria Sekwena, 47, the mother of prospective student Kgositsile Sekwena.

She was killed when crowds forced their way onto the campus to secure admission.

Manyi said the government had noted the possibility, as expressed by Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, of walk-in applications or registrations being outlawed.

After the incident, Nzimande told journalists that crowds descending on universities for late applications was a nationwide problem every year, but that UJ seemed to attract a lot more people.

Beeld reported today that the Democratic Alliance had criticised Nzimande, accusing him of saying last year that the long queues outside UJ were a “wonderful problem”.

Nzimande said yesterday that the department was hoping to have centralised registration in place by next year and would provide more information at schools on the applications process.

“Government calls on candidates to take the necessary, timeous steps to secure entry to tertiary institutions and calls on such institutions to take measures to make these processes as smooth and efficient as possible for candidates,” said Manyi.

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