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Stampede at Johannesburg University kills one

One person has died and several are injured as crowds of people rush to enrol at a university in the South African city of Johannesburg

The rush to enrol at university can be deadly. A queue Tuesday for last-minute places at the university, resulted in the death of the mother of a prospective student, reports BBC world news.

More than 180,000 high school graduates are expected to be turned away from South Africa’s nine top universities this year, said the Times newspaper quoted on BBC. About 74,000 students would fail to win a place at the University of Johannesburg alone.

Unemployment has added to the pressure on place numbers.

Used SMS campaign

On Monday alone 5,000 registered in person for last minute places, and applicants waited through the night. The stampede apparently happened just after the main gate was opened at 07:30 local time.

»People were pushing and there was police trying to control the crowds – the university had their own security too. But the crowds were overpowering them,« a witness said. »We need education. We need to register. We needed to get inside,« another witness is quoted as saying.

The University of Johannesburg used an SMS campaign to alert students to the possibility of last-minute places.

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