For the second time in less than a week, the University of Johannesburg has been in the news for incidents arising from safety and security in and around the campus. On Tuesday night, a student went outside of the campus to buy food and on his way back, two men approached him. They tried to rob the student and shot him during the altercation.
This incident happened outside the UJ Doornfontein campus. The campus is situated just outside of the Johannesburg CBD and is a short walk away from Hillbrow which is considered a high crime zone. The student was rushed to hospital where he is in a stable condition. No arrests have been made.
The Public News Hub ran a story about a 23 year-old female student who was threatened by an 18 year-old male student with a gun last week. Both the victim and the suspect are students at the UJ Kingsway Campus. The female student was locked in the boot of her car. The suspect managed to get past security personnel in the stolen car using the victim’s identification document with her picture on it. The suspect drove to an ATM and withdrew money from her bank account. He eventually abandoned her in Eldorado Park, south of Johannesburg.
The car was later found and the suspect was arrested on hijacking, kidnapping and robbery charges. The security guard who was at the access point did not immediately report the suspicious driver carrying a female identity card. On Tuesday, the university confirmed that the security guard had been suspended pending an investigation.
These two incidents have been an eye-opener for the university. Derek van der Merwe, the Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Johannesburg, said that the university is considering ways to ensure that the staff and students are safe on campus. Security is a concern on all UJ campuses and the institution intends to change that.