UJ to pay tuition for victim's son

2012-01-11 15:17

Johannesburg - The University of Johannesburg will pay the tuition fees of the man whose mother died there in a stampede, it said on Wednesday.

"Although nothing can replace the 19-year-old prospective student's mother, UJ has offered to waive tuition for his choice of study at UJ, should he adhere to the programme choice's admission criteria," said registrar Professor Marie Muller.

The university community was deeply saddened by the events at its Auckland Park Bunting Road campus on Tuesday, she said.

"Our condolences to her family and friends and our thoughts go to the other applicants who were injured during the course of the morning's events."


Gloria Sekwena was killed and at least 20 people were injured - three of them critically - in a stampede at the university's gates on Tuesday. She had been accompanying her son Kgositsile to see him through the applications process.

All but one of the injured had been discharged from hospitals in Gauteng on Wednesday.

The person still in hospital was transferred from Milpark Hospital to 1 Military Hospital in Tshwane and was to be visited by Muller and University vice chancellor Ihron Rensburg on Wednesday.

They would then visit Sekwena's family with Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.

Security authorities had their hands full on Wednesday monitoring access to the university.


People gathered outside the gates were allowed in 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.

Out of touch

The Pan Africanist Youth Congress called for 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.


The university closed late applications after the incident on Tuesday and said it would process only 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.

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.

  • marcus.daily3 - 2012-01-11 15:26


      ubhejane - 2012-01-11 15:44

      I agree and this does console me somewhat. But this is only one of Millions of us trying to get ahead in life. Our battle is a solitary battle, for education and for survival. We have to take this matter in our own hands now because the elected elite governing us have no clue what life is like out here in the real world. A whole generation of us have now grown up since 1994 and our education system is just getting worse. I was horrified to read that headmasters in the Eastern Cape are stealing the money meant to pay for the electricity in schools in Port Elizabeth and that services to these schools have been suspended. If Nzimande can't manage this portfolio then he should be replaced immediately! - 2012-01-11 16:00

      I am happy they will be paying tuition for this boy. I hope they pay for him until he finishes his studies. With institutions in Limpopo being the poorest in delivering best education, one cannot blame entirely all those people from that province who came crushing to study at uj. Does anyone know Vusi Mabaso's new blog name? I dont see him anymore

      ubhejane - 2012-01-11 16:01

      I commend the Pan Africanist Youth Congress for standing up for us. This makes me wonder where the other opposition parties are? We don't need slaying of the ANC. I'm sure by now they are fully aware that they are completely unable to govern and budget. We now need opposition parties to stand up for us and come with solutions. This is a democracy and why do we have opposition parties????? Do they see their function as a critic of the governing party only? Bring the solutions!

      Squeegee - 2012-01-11 16:25

      Like the Premier would pay for the medical bills of the teenager hit by the Blue Light brigade. Seeing is believing. We'll see if this happens over the next few years.

      proafrikaans - 2012-01-11 17:29

      @ubhejane - so who did you, personally vote for the past couple of elections, hmmm? I think I know. The power to change your future is in your hand, the one with which you draw your cross at the ballot box. People get the government they deserve.

  • Paul - 2012-01-11 15:33

    All this because a gang of people couldnt behave themselves and wait in line for their turn.

      Werner - 2012-01-12 08:42

      My deepest condolences to the victim. But I was just thinking about the thousands of students trying to get in - and then wondering, how many of them will still bother with their studies come March? I remember our first year Chemistry class was horribly overcrowded in February. March? Half the seats were open by then. Shameful.

  • tbomelamsomi - 2012-01-11 15:37


      Squeegee - 2012-01-11 18:10

      Life is cheap. Amazing how this has blinded and pacified people. Hope he refuses and takes them to court for not managing the fiasco - a fiasco that everyone knew was coming after what happened last year - including UJ officials.

  • Twain - 2012-01-11 15:37

    "One angry mother shouted when they would not let her in, saying she had left the paperwork at home." Er....too bad? It sucks, but I don't apply for a visa without a passport either. Red tape is the bane of our modern existence but that's no excuse for stupidity.

      Moi - 2012-01-11 15:43

      Well said.

      Peter - 2012-01-11 16:54

      She is just another braindead person in this country, she really does not know what she was there in the first place

  • Jimmy - 2012-01-11 15:41

    How thoughtfull of them.

      Squeegee - 2012-01-11 16:26

      Trying to save face - what choice did they have?

      Schalk - 2012-01-11 17:36

      Squeegee you stooge. It is not UJ's fault that they believed like hooligans outside. If they applied BEFORE the deadline it would not happen but as usual they used African time.

      Squeegee - 2012-01-11 18:07

      Schalk, get more informed. Last night on TV news thay started the blame game. UJ officials vrs metro police. UJ needs to protect its image - hard thing to do. Which institution would not have done this - do you think its going to make any difference to them financially?

      makesuthink - 2012-01-12 13:11

      Squeegee So from what you have written one is responsible for what happens on the pavement or in the road OUTSIDE of your property. So I can come and break my leg on the pavement outside your property and you will pay. The "people' actually responsable for the death are the idiots at the back of the queue who should have behaved like human beings

  • Johncarlos Cynical Biza - 2012-01-11 15:53

    5-6 yrs ago Education minister Naledi Pandor was told by Nelspruit locals they'd rather have a university there than a fancy stadium. She had the nerve to reply 'your province is not ready for a varsity', as if a stadium is more important. Now Nzimande back-pedals and says they are planning 2 universities there...the day a person dies. Sounds like brown-nosing. Even if true, why should the ANC take decades to increase the number of universities? Instead, existing universities like Medunsa have become worse. What did they plan to do with the post-'94 expected influx of black university applicants? So far, they have strained existing universities and decreased white students. The past education ministers should forfeit their salaries.

      Peter - 2012-01-11 16:57

      You must remember former education minister Naledi Pandor was a total embarrassment for the education department

      Squeegee - 2012-01-11 18:08

      Peter, that's par for a minister in the present government.

  • djsmuts - 2012-01-11 16:16

    What's the chance that Gloria's son will graduate and go on to become a proper education minister one day, and perhaps prevent tragedies like this. Good luck, young man

  • sto.stomi - 2012-01-11 16:33

    Eish though they can't replace the life of the dead mother, atleast they hev done something by paying for the tuition fee of the child.

  • Preshen - 2012-01-11 16:36

    paying off the guilt

      Schalk - 2012-01-11 17:36

      You are really stupid aren't you?

  • namatshego - 2012-01-11 16:40

    It is trully unfortunate that we have to play the race card all the time. students have an oppotunity to apply during the course of previous year.UJ should not allow late applications anymore. Students should learn that if you dont apply to university in time you cant get in.

  • Francois - 2012-01-11 16:43

    This was a very sad and unfortunate accident caused by a stampede. I send my sincere condolences to the family and pray for them. But what UJ is now doing is even worst. How can you offer to pay for somebody's tuition after you say there is no more place available? Are you not now creating more problems for yourself? What happens if other unemployed poor mothers (white, black, pink or purple) decide to sacrifice themselves to ensure free tuition for their children? Maybe the problem must be addressed and more Universities build.

      Peter - 2012-01-11 17:01


  • Assis - 2012-01-11 16:45

    I think the gesture from the UJ is well intended, and if the application system for universities is being reviewed and improved then the stampede will have benefits to the many people in the long run. A pity that such a high price must be paid though, before any improvement to the system happens.

  • ofentse.ramorula - 2012-01-11 16:57

    I actually think the minister and UJ are being proactive in avoiding a law suite that will amount to millions. Sue them.

  • Pauline - 2012-01-11 17:10

    So her death was not in vain. Still, very sad and tragic to lose your mother. Condolences to the family.

  • Philip - 2012-01-11 17:30

    The right thing to do and indeed honorable. What about Thomas Ferreira, who was left brain damaged after a collision with a blue light vehicle? Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and Gauteng Housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi promised to pay for his medical bills, and as yet nothing has been forthcoming. Let's see how far these UJ promises go.

  • Siso - 2012-01-11 17:39

    MOTHER... Mother You filled my days with rainbow lights, fairytales and sweet dream nights, A kiss to wipe away my tears, Gingerbread to ease my fears. You gave the gift of life to me, And then in love, you set me free. I thank you for your tender care, for deep warm hugs and being there. I hope that when you think of me, A part of you, you'll always see. ~Author Unknown~ Good gesture from UJ's side but it wont bring her back

  • thabelorale - 2012-01-11 17:45

    Condolences to the bereaved family and RIP sister.It's as if the mother paid tuition by her own life. She died fighting for your future young man, take up arms and fight for your life and for those other disadvantaged youths. This is something you will never forget in you life time, utilize that opportunity to help others too such that something like that never repeat itself, the soul of your mother will rest in peace and you will be a happy man.

  • Ragus - 2012-01-11 17:50

    I Just feel sorry for the 2 critically injured that were discharged, to be that ill and sent home.

  • ksieda - 2012-01-11 20:48

    Y is UJ a centre of attraction? Wat is it about this RAU? Is it quality and cheap? What about the old english medium universities i.e Wits, Natal,Rhodes and UCT? Are they expensive? If yes then I agree. It's the 1st ever such incident to happen in our institution and the loss of life is one too many.If all the country students want to enrol at UJ then UJ must consider opening campuses in other centres like POLOKWANE,NELSPRUIT,DURBAN,BLOEM and CAPE TOWN.

      Francois - 2012-01-11 23:34

      Why do you think it is the University of Johannesburg (UJ)? If it is in other provinces it would be stupid to call it UJ!!! Did you also finished school last year with 8 distinctions?

  • Leon - 2012-01-12 08:28

    "Gloria Sekwena was killed and at least 20 people were injured - three of them critically... All but one of the injured had been discharged from hospitals in Gauteng on Wednesday." I find it strange that two people that were critically injured on Monday were released on Wednesday.

  • Mary - 2012-01-12 08:30

    Off-campus universities is the way of the future - UNISA has proven it.

  • Nyiks11 - 2012-01-12 10:49

    If only prospective students pitched for registration then we would not have this problem of overcrowding and stampedes , the students would do just fine by themselves with help of induction and orientation officials. Unfortunately ,some of these parents and other hangers on are the ones who form the madding crowds who bring about confusion and stampedes

  • ilse.ford1 - 2012-01-12 16:03

    "Payco predicted that others would die "through police brutality" when students started protesting against financial institutions next month" Anyone have more info about what this is all about?

  • Haveyoursay - 2012-01-12 19:46

    When I was a student at Wits in the early 70's RAU as it was known then was the nats answer to the liberal Wits. They werem in temporary accom0odation in Braamfontein, then the nats spent millions building a new campus in Auckland park. It was always an exclusive university for Afrikaners. When the education system was "democratised" RAU becsme UJ, offering averything from certificates to degrees. It was never designed to be big university.

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