Throngs of prospective students — many of whom weren’t wearing masks — jostled for space and disregarded Covid-19 protocols as they queued at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) on Tuesday to register for an apparent hoax advertisement offering academic places. .
The huge crowd overwhelmed university management and security as they stood in line from the taxi rank on the street, into the campus and later piled up in the sports complex.
South African Students Congress convener Malwande Ndobe said the situation at DUT was “abnormal and chaotic”.
Ndobe told TimesLIVE that hundreds of young people lined up on Tuesday morning.
“It seems as if this registration is a miscommunication. Management didn’t issue any communique about registration but there was a circular flying around on social media saying that there were spaces available for registration and that they should come to campus today [Tuesday].”
He said he wasn’t aware who was behind the advert or why someone would create a false post.
He said that while it wasn’t safe for the huge gathering during the pandemic, many people were desperate for education and still wanted to register.
Is the @HigherEduGovZA aware of this influx happening during a pandemic at @DUT_Tweets?..It’s time institutions have call centers. Otherwise there won’t be any efficient progress but more Corona waves. pic.twitter.com/uo2bzs2guG
— Lucky Zulu (@Lucky__Zulu) April 6, 2021
In a tweet, eThekwini councillor Sakhile Mngadi asked minister of higher education Blade Nzimade to intervene.
“This is the state of the @DUT_Tweets sport centre now. The system has clearly failed. There are serious Covid-19 regulations contraventions by management here. 5000+ students indoors with no ventilation and Security is overwhelmed! Please intervene!”
DUT said it would issue a statement after an executive management committee meeting on Tuesday.
Applications for the 2021 academic year closed in February, according to DUT’s official social media account.
Important notice from DUT student admissions. pic.twitter.com/s215TJmYW8
— DUT (@DUT_Tweets) February 19, 2021