UJ suspends registrations after stampede

2012-01-10 10:21

Johannesburg - The University of Johannesburg suspended registrations of potential students on Tuesday following a stampede at its Bunting Road campus in Auckland Park.

One person was killed in the stampede, university spokesperson Herman Esterhuizen confirmed.

"There was a person that was deceased," said Esterhuizen.

One person has also been critically injured. Both are mothers of potential students.

Further details would be released at a media briefing at the university after 10:00.

The critically injured woman has been taken to Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, Netcare 911 spokesperson Jeff Wicks said.

UJ registrar Marie Muller told eNews channel that the incident happened as students queued for last-minute applications to the tertiary institution.

Muller also said that another person was seriously injured.

The university received 5 000 new applications on Monday.

Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts

  • danibani24 - 2012-01-10 10:26

    Is it that hard to understand the difference between applications and registrations?

      Jean-Louis - 2012-01-10 11:35

      wait .... these are varsity brain level kids .... don't ask tooooo much

      Schmee - 2012-01-10 13:01

      The purpose of late applications was to “provide a window of opportunity” to students who had done well after their final matric exams.

  • jackivdm - 2012-01-10 10:29

    Didn't the same thing happen last year? One would think that somewhere in the university there would be someone who could come up with a better way to handle these massive numbers of late applications during the past year...

      Makhosazane - 2012-01-10 10:36

      Thats so true - last year a stampede broke out for a few minutes at the Kingsway campus and it was quickly maintained....they should have planned better this year after calculating the risks involved.

  • Leon - 2012-01-10 10:31

    "The university received 5 000 applications new applications on Monday." HUH?

      Louda - 2012-01-10 11:12

      Does not make sense hey !

      Jean-Louis - 2012-01-10 11:42

      don't be surprised !!!! LAST MINUTE registration - ALL kids are joling during the year, and then suddenly - panick - they must register - ooops we forgot - or - well we have time enough - will do it tommorow - time enough - heard of the story of the turtle and the hare racing each other ? - well all the hares are there to register - the turtles ARE ALREADY REGISTRED !! (well the ones that does not care are like that)

      Tinus - 2012-01-10 13:59


  • Constance - 2012-01-10 10:33

    its a sad sad situation happening at UJ. The tragic of this morning should spur the institution to improve their registation strategy and prevent the further loss of lives.

      Herman - 2012-01-10 11:16

      Their registration process is working perfect, it is the ignorance of the wannabe students which caused this.

      Siso - 2012-01-10 16:05

      I don't agree with you at all Herman, you can't seriously blame this student for all of what happened. UJ seeing that there were more students and limited spaces left, they should have done something to avoid all of this. UJ is also partly responsible

  • rbphiri - 2012-01-10 10:36

    The stampede is due to late registration and students failing to register with poor grade 11 marks. Because matriculants usually submit applications with the grade 11 results, if their application is unsuccessful than they use their final matric results - which by than will be too late since successful applicants have already acquired the space. Thus students will result to drastic measures by studying any course that is open in the university, just for the sake of being there.The blame can not solely lie on the uj's administration, it is up to students to do thorough research as to where they want to study and what they want to study and how to register in time.

      Mapule - 2012-01-10 11:01

      if students were rejected because of poor marks and now they have good marks, WHAT SHOULD THEY DO? Go and check if there's still space available. UJ must implement a way of controlling croud during this time, it's their challenge.

      Andy - 2012-01-10 11:29


      jackivdm - 2012-01-10 11:37

      @Mapule. What should they do? Well, 2 things come to mind: 1) Study harder in grade 11. 2) If they didn't study hard enough in grade 11 and got good enough grade 12 marks, apply early for the 2013 academic year. The university is not going to go away... 1 Year in the grand scheme of things is nothing. It's not a now or never situation. Also, it's not exactly a secret that universities use grade 11 marks for early application. Study harder in grade 11.

      Kala - 2012-01-10 11:52

      Mapule - Why is ill discipline the fault of the UJ? It doesn't take rocket science to figure out that stampeding your way into the property will get your application in.

      Tebogo - 2012-01-10 11:59

      Yes...students must just study harder in grade11 like sum of us did, so that u dnt have to make late applications. Simple.

      George - 2012-01-10 12:19

      The stampede is not a reflection of society. Our institutions are managed by lunatics. The problem is with those who are charged with the responsibility of managing our institutions of learning. Firstly, there is a need to articulate procedures for late registrations. We have the internet to manage some of those processes. Employing more administration staff to deal with student influx. Create separate centres to manage influx. I cant understand why in South Africa we seem to think about doing something when someone is dead. It is in our culture to grag our feet until a disaster happens.

      MastersVoice - 2012-01-10 12:29

      If it is true that these applicants had poor grade 11 marks, then they cannot be suitable University candidates (event if for diploma courses). I am of the opinion that the perception exists that UJ is a university where degrees and diplomas can be obtained easily, hence the annual stampede. Perhaps UJ should start by enforcing a high acceptance criteria (e.g. Matric alone is not good enough), and raise the level and standard of their courses.

      George - 2012-01-10 12:45

      @ Kala, if you run an instituion it is your responsibility to determine who gets in and how they should get in. Much like running a tarven, you control how people should come in and out of your place. How many people should be in your premises at any given time. You can decide to let 100 people only at any point. this is a security and crowd control measure. This is no rocket science. mfowethu! bo dom ke ba eng?

      George - 2012-01-10 12:47

      is it not obvious?

      George - 2012-01-10 12:51

      @jackievdm and cronie tebego: easier said than done. I'll say, if you didn't do well in grade 11, pull up your socks and study harder in g12. This is your make or break chance.

      Kala - 2012-01-10 13:07

      @Mpaketsane - Wrong Mfowethu. This type of stampede is caused by people trying to bypass the access controls put into place. There are rules and regulations in society (many of them unwritten but generaly accepted) on how we, as people, conduct ourselves. Causing a stampede such as we see at UJ and in the past at certain soccer matches is not the fault of the property holders.

      George - 2012-01-10 14:51

      @Kala, the soccer city stampede is a good example. I am glad you brought it up. Remember what happened there? The commission of enquiry found more than 11 contributing factors to the disaster and only 1 was attributed to the fans. use of teagas, poor forecast of match attendance, failure to learn from lessons of the past and so forth. So, management is still to blame. period! follow the link below.

  • rodfor1435 - 2012-01-10 10:36

    I hope all those stampeding have enough money to pay their fees.......because there will be more stampeding and/or toyi-toying when fees are due!!!!!!!!!

  • tebogosuemeyong - 2012-01-10 10:36

    naybe UJ needs to be more strict when it comes to the application process, u hv those who applied early n admitted those cn cum register with returnin students, then u gt prospective students who cn cum try for the 2nd time with matric results those shud b there in Jan, on since UJ is in charge of their system only those who hv been called or told to cum check again in Jan shud be there n NO new applications shud be accepted that way this queues will be easily controlled cos they will know how many ppl they expect to queue at a specific period

  • r.mashigo - 2012-01-10 10:38

    Build more universities perhaps?

      mmakgaboe - 2012-01-10 11:01

      i also think we need more universities as well. Thousands flock from MP, Limpopo, EC, NC ...just to come study in Gauteng. If these provinces had their own institutions things would be a whole lot easier

      Dinky - 2012-01-10 11:07

      ANC have had 20 years and billions wasted to build schools and Tertiary Campuses. They knew the population was exploding. They knew the pass rate was lowered to pass more who now hope for Varsity entrance. How many fail the first year ? What about Apprenticeships and trade schools ? What happened to that ? Swept out like everything else that functioned. Now we have an under-educated, untrained, unemployable quarter of the population. It is shocking and an abuse of the young adults right to education and training. Shame on you ANC. This is Africa, so why do I ask stupid questions.

      Blade - 2012-01-10 11:16

      The National Party built ten universities for blacks during Apartheid. How many has the ANC built?

      Jean-Louis - 2012-01-10 11:49

      dont ask the governement to spend more monney - they need that for themselves and their relatives, croonies, nephews(!) - SA is rich but the monney is misspend !!!!

      Herman - 2012-01-10 12:17

      @ Blade - NONE, how many have they destroyed?

      Foc - 2012-01-10 12:42

      If you look at the dismal pass-rate of these students extra universities will be white elephants in NO time .... I live near UJ and after the 1st semester its like a ghost town with all the failed students that went home!! They should be stricter with admittance and if they didnt close all the Technicons and other Colleges ... this would NOT have happened Well done ANC!! Viva!!

      Buck - 2012-01-10 13:33

      I dont feel there is a need for more universities at all. Rather build more technikons, nurse training colleges and the like. University is not for everyone. What this country needs is more artisans etc instead of a million humanities graduates.

  • an0nthinker - 2012-01-10 10:41

    This is what happens when education is such that students don't even know if they passed. Therefore not applying early. The time between matric results and university application is to short.

      Deon - 2012-01-10 11:13

      Apply with your grade 11 points like most students did the past 30 years.

  • Phumezo - 2012-01-10 10:43

    I am sure other SADEC countries who also have the best if not better and functioning education system like Zimbabwe and Botswana will be willing to accomodate some of our willing learners. Why this government of Mandela and some parents not promoting tis will forever be mind boggling in my mind? Then again these issuese concern an education of an African child in general and blacks in particular! We hope and pray the slaughtering of that bull in Mangaung will shed some light in the minds of our leaders!

      Katlego - 2012-01-10 11:09

      Phumezo...mind boggling normally happens in the mind.... "will forever be mind boggling in my mind?"

      Truthis - 2012-01-10 11:22

      "We hope and pray the slaughtering of that bull in Mangaung will shed some light in the minds of our leaders!" - Backward much?

      Monique - 2012-01-10 13:20

      LOL...Katlego you are funny! I got a few myself: accommodate this issues

  • Shanna-Kathleen - 2012-01-10 10:47

    The future leaders of South Africa. The future of our Country looks good.

      Herman - 2012-01-10 11:18

      Sure does for a banana republic :-)

  • dnt07 - 2012-01-10 10:58

    How sad has it become that an institution of higher learning needs to now be "prepared" for and "expect" stampedes. One would swear they were admitting cattle for degree and diploma studies. Gotta love the comedy of every day life in SA :-)

      dnt07 - 2012-01-10 11:04

      Sad, too, that someone died in the process :-\

      Silas Tebogo Serakalala - 2012-01-10 11:37

      So... Its comedy wen an innocent gal hu just wants to go to skul dies?

      dnt07 - 2012-01-10 12:00

      @Silas, no. It's comedy that people can't grasp the concept of queueing. If you read the comment below my initial comment, you'll see that I say it's sad that someone died in the process. Read, my friend, read.

  • kwenam - 2012-01-10 11:04

    This Merger of universities is not working, when is ANC going to dismantle this stupid Idea mara, Universities are few now, And when are they going to build University in Mpumalanga and Northren Cape? if we had R70 Billion for arms we can have R200 Million for 3 Extra universities, Why did they Kill Vista? eish

      Zinhle - 2012-01-10 11:12

      You are right Kwenam. The government should think about building at least three or four more universities. This tragic incident should have been avoided.

      Eugene - 2012-01-10 11:15

      @ Kwenam: Brilliant idea!

      Blade - 2012-01-10 11:17

      Vote DA.

      Jean-Louis - 2012-01-10 11:59

      The problem lays with our governement who has HER priorities completelly wrong - OUR monney is not used to improve the lives of our peoples - but is there to improve "THEIR lives !!! You want change ? - vote for someone else, and see if they can do it - if not vote for another party !!!

  • DarrenCooper68 - 2012-01-10 11:06

    Why blame the institutions, were not enough days made available? Cannot prepare for every idiot that waits until the last minute to register. This "last minute" mentality needs to change

  • Carey-Ann - 2012-01-10 11:06

    First of all - what do people not understand about applying before the deadline??? Can't be that bright then! Secondly, if these people applied so late, are they going to pay their fees so late too or at all?? Leave the studying to those who really want it and are committed. Keep stampeding, you are only going to harm your fellow would-be students!

  • Katlego - 2012-01-10 11:07

    Nothing has changed they never take the late applications seriously. 2002-2006 was the same thing i am not surprised and why ohh wny would you get the whole university that has four campuses to register on the one campus..what are the others used for, if im going to study at the doornfontein or soweto campus does it make sense to go to auckland park to register. A person has died and somebody must be held accountable...they lucky this is not China or the death penalty would be upon them...Communists Rule!!!!

  • Mary-Ann - 2012-01-10 11:12

    what is our world coming to?

  • Patient - 2012-01-10 11:20

    i think most of the first entering students go to UJ because they've many option since it offers both National Diploma and Varsity Degree... this problem is far beyond UJ admin to handle...

  • martin.vandermerwe - 2012-01-10 11:24

    Worse than animals, wtf!

      Richard - 2012-01-10 13:53

      why don't they just forge or fake their degrees like everyone else.

  • Mashudu - 2012-01-10 11:26

    Government must build new Universities.

      jean.mash1 - 2012-01-10 11:35

      easy, government must build new or expand current universities. Demand has increased as the doors of previous-afrikaans universities opened.

      Eric Schollar - 2012-01-10 12:09

      There are already far too many third rate universities in this country. There should be more adult education colleges and technical\vocational colleges and fewer universities with more demanding entrance requirements

  • Lebotse Pamela - 2012-01-10 11:40

    I just think uj needs to do sumthing about about their admin, same thing each year, why don'nt other universities experience the same problem. They shud seek some advice from their neighbour Wits.

      Lebotse Pamela - 2012-01-10 11:52

      Is'nt it said that they receive over 84000 thousands applications why need new applicants, its either they r making money over this application fees or they need an upgrade on the way the deal with their application process.

      Louis - 2012-01-10 12:17

      If they had kept Wits Tech on its own then maybe there would n't have been such a problem at UJ.

  • hlomelang.joala - 2012-01-10 11:45

    i think where the problem lies is-you get 2 sets of students, those which enrolled at the unversity the previous year and those who are late applicants.the ones that have enrolled already are there to submit their matric results to secure their space and the others are obviously there to apply, so why put all these people in the same line its unfair!the majority of these students are late applicants so they must have their own line, and another line must be set up for those who have already enrolled at the varsity.

      Ehllene - 2012-01-10 15:47

      Not only has another line been set up, but another time. REGISTRATION is only towards the end of the month, and that is spread out over a much longer period with specific dates for each candidate, depending on the course and the year. People who applied on time, with consistent high performance, who have already been accepted, are not supposed to be on campus yet. This was LATE APPLICATIONS. There is a major difference.

  • Landry Subira - 2012-01-10 11:48

    I've been to UJ Bunting Road and it is TINY! There are less than a thousand people there during the semester. I don't get why UJ would use their smallest campus for applications? 5000 new applications on Monday? WTF? What's the point of the closing date for applications? But it isn't only their fault. It is the onus of the new students to find out when to apply. A lot of you are saying that its not the first time this has happened. Let's hope its the last.

      danibani24 - 2012-01-10 12:21

      Late application processes were actually not held on Bunting Road Campus, but at the AW Muller Stadium linked to the Campus.

  • Samuel - 2012-01-10 11:49

    Docktors and Engineers of our future. makes you think

      Tinus - 2012-01-10 13:56


  • Simon - 2012-01-10 11:55

    although this uj registration process turned tragic at least this situation shows that young S.Africans are eager to get an education.The SA govt should build more universities that can produce graduants with skills that can be used anywhere in the world.With a population of about 15m Zim has 12 universities,8 polytechnics,12 teacher training colleges,6 agriculture training colleges,11 nurse training colleges,20 vocational training colleges and numerous private colleges that offer qualifications from City and Guilds,UNISA,University of London,ACCA,CIMA etc....impressive but still not enough

      Ehllene - 2012-01-10 15:49

      REGISTRATION is only towards the end of the month. This was LATE APPLICATIONS.

  • Tshiamo - 2012-01-10 12:01

    That's what happens when you "transform" the entry results!

  • Kevin - 2012-01-10 12:09

    The reason for the discrepancies between grade11 and grade 12 is that grade 11 marks are a true reflection of the candidate before Umalusi boosts the matric results to satisfy their political masters

  • Noyolo - 2012-01-10 12:12

    Well i blame the university completely because this late registration process is stupid. At Wits, you apply its either you get accepted, rejected or given a provisional place pending your final results. If you come in January to register you are immediately turned away by the SECURITY even. This teaches the studends to think ahead and prepare accordingly i.e send forms etc. I did not have great Gr 11 results but i applied anyway. Has UJ heard of CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS!!

      Fernando - 2012-01-10 12:18

      Why blame the university??? Hello, if someone is there before you stand behind him and wait, don't push or try to be helped before him/her and don't bundle, that creates chaos. It is a normal procedure, 1st come 1st served. Basic Maths!!!

      jackivdm - 2012-01-10 12:37

      At Stellenbosch applications for certain courses close as early as March of the previous year. Closing date for other courses are October. Then applicants also have to write sets of entrance exams since the school results are so meaningless. Even after this strenuous acceptance process, thousands of students still don't make it past the first year. If you barely passed the entrance criteria on your matric results, what are the chances of getting a degree? The sad reality is that many of these late applicators will probably only waste a lot of money and never graduate. It is almost cruel how these people's hopes and dreams are smashed after milking them dry in the name of equal opportunity.

      Priscilla - 2012-01-10 14:21

      UJ is not Wits!!

  • Phumezo - 2012-01-10 12:12

    Normally when the supply exceeds the demands the factories or other business entities work over-time to catch up. Why these institutions do not do that is of anyone's guess! Besides if the factory workers and doctors can work a three-shift system what is preventing the lectures and administrators for doing the same?

  • busi.carol - 2012-01-10 12:13

    i think students must start considering alternative institutions. The is LSE, ABE, Open university - these are world class distance learning programmes. They can also open doors for one to easily access post grad opportunities abroad.

  • Patty - 2012-01-10 12:27

    No late registrations should be allowed. But, as we see, rules are made to be broken.

  • George - 2012-01-10 12:27

    It is not proper to blame our students for this mess. We should in fact applaud those who managed to improve on their grade 11 performances. The leadership of those institutions must anticipate things like this and come up with contingency plans. They are paid to think and manage our institutions.

  • Leon - 2012-01-10 12:28

    The minister of education is responsible for this stampede: My daughter enrolled at university based on her grade 11 results and she was preliminary accepted. Four of her friends that that couldn't enrol due to poor grade 11 results and they also fail the grade 12 preliminary exam all of a sudden pass grade 12 with university exemption. All four of them rushed to the university to enrol. This means that the minister has adjusted the results so severely that thousands of students can now go to university that was supposed to fail. And our government with no conscious don’t care about education.

  • PhetohoStephenMaja - 2012-01-10 12:35

    It's bad news, but how could they send every applicant from different campuses to one campus? They're the ones to be blamed *sad*

  • George - 2012-01-10 12:55

    So, if the a student did not do well in G11 is he expected to bury his/her head in sand? This is not what we should be telling our grade 11. If you did not do well in G11 pull up your socks and get good marks in G12 and go and hassle for a place @ UJ. Period!

      Ehllene - 2012-01-10 15:53

      I applaud those who put in the extra effort in grade 12, but it is unrealistic to think that they can literally crush the gates at the university because they suddenly meet the minimum requirements. Then they should take a gap year, and apply for the following year on time.

  • hans.jmroos - 2012-01-10 12:59

    Firstly, these are people applying, NOT registering, UJ's registration system works perfectly and the same goes for their application process if you apply in time. These students have had the better part of a year to apply, they could have replied with grade 11 results. Waking up one sunny morning and swarming/storming a campus because you were lazy is not going to solve your problem. Yes, students have a right to education, but no one is entitled to just walk in to a university and demand to be accepted, it is a privilege, an honour and a right that needs to be earned first, and it is not earned during the December holiday after high school. Secondly this incident isn't related to last year's incident it was cause under a different set of circumstances, at a different campus. Just as the university learned from last year's mistake, so should the general student population should have remembered from last year that late application is problematic! This is a very sad and unfortunate incident; my heart and condolences go out to the family of the deceased, but I don't feel the university is to blame for what happened. This incident is an act of desperation amongst by students, due to a situation created by government by closing technical institutions and not opening new or supporting the expansion of the existing institutions. This is a result of a bad education system in general. It is sad that UJ keeps getting the blame. Good luck to all future applicants and UJ!

      Sonja - 2012-01-10 13:10

      I agree with you and please do not forget to mention the 'falsely' inflated marks that increases the amount of students able to register.... Another of the governments little ideas to make themselves look good! It is a sad, sad state indeed...

      busi.carol - 2012-01-10 13:28

      I still put the blame on UJ. They have proved over and over that they have lower expectation from their prospective students. Why dont student qeue at UP or UCT - they have zero tolerance for late registration. Where rules are not enforced people will take advantage. Next year there will be qeues at UJ and TUT as usual.

      George - 2012-01-10 14:55

      Way to go Busi. finish and klaar!

      hans.jmroos - 2012-01-10 16:13

      Clearly you are missing the point. These students were late as a result of their own tardiness!! The university was doing the a courtesy by considering late applications, a courtesy that was abused and turned into something horrible.

  • Rajen - 2012-01-10 13:27

    Poor planning on parents of children wishing to register at higher educationn institutions contribute to problems at registering. These parents/ matriculants should have filed an application to register last year and they would be no stampede for limited places at higher education places this year. Incidentally Govt instructs each higher education institution on the number of students to enrol to facilitate a quality higher education system. Consequently there are constraints on the number of students that institutions can accept. iNCIDENTALLY

  • padayachee - 2012-01-10 13:34

    GooooooooooooooDDDDDDDD!!!!!! If you wana act like animals, Then they should be treated like animals then. Now look! Those are the exact same people that will bring service delivery in this country down and the same one's that will push and march down the streets when they don’t get what they want! The same one's that'll march and vandalize the building at the end of this year because they don’t want to pay fee's!! I just feel sorry for the hand full of candidates that are actually there to further their studies properly and honestly. #BushPeople!

  • Gerda - 2012-01-10 13:38

    What happened to standing in a neat line and act civilized or where the first 100 promised a free hamburger and Coke? The university should use the same method as a parking lot - use electronic notice board to show how many openings are still available.

  • Pieter - 2012-01-10 14:07

    Thanks goodness I was there when it was still RAU. Thanks mr. Asmal, this is what is left of RAU after your medling....

  • Ehllene - 2012-01-10 15:36

    News24, please get it right. This was not REGISTRATION. This was LATE APPLICATIONS - people who failed to apply or get accepted into the course of their choice and was trying to APPLY, even though applications closed in 2011.

  • phumelele.yabo - 2012-01-10 15:37

    Where was the Student Representative Council during this quagmire?

      hans.jmroos - 2012-01-10 16:09

      So a student rep would have made all the difference? For starters the kids there weren't students of UJ and some how I don't see the SRC doing anything but inciting people to take worse action. Mob mentality doesn't need a rep to create more mob action.

  • Mohsin - 2012-01-10 15:54

    maybe uj needs to offer a course in crowd control

  • Siso - 2012-01-10 15:54

    Too little too late, they should have thought of it before someone was killed.

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