UJ stampede victim 'out of danger'

2012-01-12 16:08
Video

Students describe UJ stampede

2012-01-10 14:12

Students waiting to register at the University of Johannesburg’s Bunting Road campus explain what led to the stampede in which a woman was killed and 17 other people injured. WATCH

Johannesburg - Kedibone Molete, the woman who was critically injured in a stampede at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), is in a stable condition at 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria, the hospital said on Thursday.

"Molete is out of danger... but she is still lying in the intensive care unit," said spokesperson Major Philip Makopo.

Makopo refuted media reports that Molete suffered a broken neck in the stampede, but could not immediately disclose the nature of her injuries.

"There is no single fracture in her body and I can confirm that her neck is fine," he said.

Molete was transferred to 1 Military Hospital from Milpark hospital in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Stampede

She is one of the 22 people who were injured on Tuesday during a stampede to gain entry to the campus to secure admission.

Gloria Sekwena, 47, died in the stampede while she accompanying her son Kgositsile, 19, to see him through the application processes.

The Times newspaper reported on Thursday that he was in mourning but slowly coming to terms with the death of his mother.

He said he had chosen to go to UJ as it was close to his home in Krugersdorp and he would easily be able to travel there every day.

"I arrived at UJ with my mother at 03:00, who was cheerful and very optimistic about me getting into that varsity," Kgositsile was quoted as saying.

"When security personnel announced that they were going to come outside the gates to make an orderly queue, people started shoving and pushing to get to the front."

Kgositsile told the newspaper that his mother suggested they leave, but he said security would take control and that it would be fine.

"When the small gate eventually opened, I lost track of my mother... people were shoving and pushing," Kgositsile said.

"Somebody shouted that a woman had fallen. I had also fallen to the ground and was trapped underneath a bundle of people. I could see my mother lying on the ground. Security pulled me up and I rushed over to her."

Shock and disbelief

The teenager said security officials also picked up his mother and took her to the other side, but she was already dead. "I was in shock and disbelief, but after some rest I can accept that what I saw really happened."

According to the newspaper, Gloria's handbag containing her identity document, her passport, house keys and purse was snatched while she was lying unconscious on the ground.

Her family had to try and obtain official documents to start making funeral arrangements.

"It is a nightmare to say the least. They had to get documents certified as all her stuff was in her bag, including Kgositsile's papers," an unnamed relative was quoted as saying.

UJ management has offered to pay for Kgositsile's studies should he qualify for admission.

Read more on:    uj  |  johannesburg  |  education

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