The Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training Buti Manamela has called on prospective students to remain calm following a stampede at Capricorn TVET College in Polokwane, Limpopo, on Thursday.
Manamela said he communicated with the institution’s vice-chancellor Amos Tema for an update on the situation:
“We appeal to all prospective students to ensure that they have all the necessary documents to enable the colleges to handle their applications and registration swiftly. I urge all students to follow the procedures for application and registration so that we can resume learning and teaching on Monday.
“We remain grateful of the outstanding work by our security personnel, the police and the paramedics in the manner in which they managed the situation,” said Manemela.
He also emphasized that the institution needed to use alternative measures to ensure speedy registrations of prospective students.
“You need to allow as many students as possible, with obvious consideration to enrolment plans and available resources. It is clear that some people would like to take advantage of the situation by festering confusion and distortion in order to achieve political goals. I must also emphasise that all public colleges and universities have gone on with their registrations without incidents thus far,” said Manamela.
Limpopo police Spokesperson Brigadier Moatshe Ngoepe said: “Members of the MMP Security who were in charge of access controll at Capricorn FET College in College Street, Polokwane, opened the gates to allow entry to the multitudes of the awaiting applicants for registration.
“A stampede ensued as the applicants were jostling for access, resulting in serious injury to Mr Tshepo Malatjie (22) from Tzaneen and the further collapsing of five other applicants aged between 19 & 26 years from across Limpopo Province. The injured applicant was transported to Pietersburg Provincial Hospital for medical treatment. The condition of the injured person cannot be confirmed as of now.”
Meanwhile, Mojapelo said that a case of a hit and run has been opened after a motorist allegedly ran over the prospective learners.
“The police have also opened a hit and run case after a motorist driving a white Mercedes Benz with registration numbers CMX 390 L ran over two applicants walking in the vicinity of the college, seriously injuring one of them,” said Mojapelo.