No queues – UJ’s learned its lesson

2013-01-13 10:00

The university has put in place measures to prevent a repeat of last year’s tragedy

On Thursday, Gloria Sekwena’s family lit a candle in her honour.

That day marked a year since Sekwena was pushed to the ground and trampled to death during a stampede at the University of Johannesburg.

Her death still haunts her family.

Her husband, Joseph, said: “It still feels like it happened yesterday.”

“When I imagine what she went through seconds before she died, I just shatter. I am lost without her,” Sekwena said.

Gloria had gone with her son, Kgosie, to help him register at the institution.

Kgosie and 20 others were injured during the stampede that killed his mother.

After the tragedy, the university offered him the funds he needed to study towards a degree in biotechnology.

But the young man dropped out after the first semester because he was simply not coping with his mother’s death.

During an interview at his family’s home this week, Kgosie deferred all questions to his father and asked not to be photographed – but he did reveal that he is returning to university this year.

Joseph Sekwena said: “Kgosie is still traumatised by the whole incident and it is expected. Witnessing a loved one die during a stampede is not any easy thing to deal with. It is worse when you continue to blame yourself for it.”

The young man went for counselling after his mother’s death, but Sekwena feels more is needed.

“I think he still needs more therapy, especially now that he is returning to university to continue with his studies.

“Kgosie says he is ready to go back to class and we cannot stand in his way. We will support him in any way he needs,” added Sekwena.

The university will continue paying Kgosie’s tuition fees.

Sekwena talked about Thursday’s small, private candle-lighting ceremony which he and his two sons held.

“I thought lighting the candle and observing a moment of silence was enough to honour her because I did not want the boys to dwell on it.

“We all miss her dearly but we have to face the reality that she is never coming back,” he said.

“We try to take one day at a time but it is not easy. Her void is felt every day but mostly on special occasions like birthdays and our wedding anniversary.

“My wife was a planner and organiser. She would plan what we needed to do and ensured it happened without glitches. Now we have to do everything ourselves and it often doesn’t end in perfection.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.