UJ access monitored

2012-01-11 14:32

Johannesburg - Security authorities had their hands full on Wednesday monitoring access to the University of Johannesburg where throngs of prospective students caused a deadly stampede a day ago.

People standing at the university's gates on Wednesday were allowed in by security officials and university staff only if they had their conditional application documentation.

One angry mother shouted when they would not let her in, saying she had left the paperwork at home.

"I came here since Friday, but could not get in. But now you are also refusing me entry. You are treating us like dogs," said Colleen Jacobs.

She complained that she would now have to take more time off work to get her son into college.

Prospective student Bafana Gumede was still hoping for a chance to be allowed in, but said he realised he might have to look for something else.

"I will never ever come to the institution again - the congestion, overcrowding here will probably make it impossible for me to enjoy my studies," he said.

Call for resignation

Earlier, Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar advised motorists to avoid the area around the university where student hopefuls had started queuing again.

The Pan Africanist Youth Congress called for Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande's resignation on Wednesday.

"We call on the minister to do the honourable thing and resign his position," Payco said in a statement.

"He has proven not once but too many times that he is unable to fulfil his duties."

Payco predicted that others would die "through police brutality" when students started protesting against financial institutions next month.


The organisation blamed the ANC government for what it called the "shambles" in education, specifically for black children and said Nzimande was out of touch.

Gloria Sekwana died and more than 20 people were injured when people queuing outside the gates surged forward on Tuesday. Three people are still in a critical condition in hospital.

The university has since closed late applications and said it would only process the 17 500 conditional applications it granted last year.

These were based on applications made in 2011 and which were subject to matric results and available space.

7 000 late application

There have been 7 000 late applications submitted to the university since Monday.

Last year, it received 85 300 applications for study in 2012. It has 11 000 places for first year undergraduate studies.

Nzimande said the government was considering ending the late application practice and planned to roll out a centralised applications system, already being used in KwaZulu-Natal.

There were also plans to build another two universities in Mpumalanga.

In a statement earlier on Wednesday, the government called for a full investigation into the incident.

"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," it said.

  • Phumezo - 2012-01-11 14:49

    Why is UJ not implementing a three-shift system for their administrators will forever be mind boggling? Furthermore why are the no other satelite campuses set around other province or Gauteng to assist the learners? The leadership must do an honourable thing and step down! Blade must elect competent administrators like Dr. Amos Masondo to head up this institution before it becomes another deathtrap for our kids and parents!

      wesleywt - 2012-01-11 15:06

      What is mind boggling is the people arriving at the last minute thinking the university will accept them. Most students are accepted the year before you start. You entrance is based on your Grade 11 marks, and provisioned on you passing Matric.

  • Vanessa Nicole Crichton - 2012-01-11 15:29

    Late application should not be allowed at all if there is a deadline the year prior to completing matric. There are no spaces available after the deadline so all these people don't stand a hope of getting in because student accepted in 2011 and there is a space issue take priority to late applications. What is the point, catch a wake up early!

  • Chaapo - 2012-01-11 15:40

    In other countries applications are all conducted over the internet where colleges and universities get access to student records from a centralized system and get to choose who are are best for their programs out of the applicants. This South African approach where people have to gather is the strangest thing I have seen.

  • Lesley - 2012-01-11 21:09

    I still want to know how they managed to get a batchelors pass if they did not have good enough marks in the previous exams to apply to UJ.

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