Stampede at Dobsonville Mall as shoppers and grant recipients fight to get inside doors

A stampede breaking out at Dobsonville Mall as a large number of shoppers and social grant beneficiaries attempted to push their way into the mall.
A stampede breaking out at Dobsonville Mall as a large number of shoppers and social grant beneficiaries attempted to push their way into the mall.
Image: Twitter

A stampede broke out at Dobsonville Mall on Monday as dozens of shoppers and social grant beneficiaries attempted to push their way into the mall.

In a video that surfaced on social media, hundreds of people are seen pushing their way into the mall. An elderly person is seen being pushed to the ground while other elderly people are being pushed around.

A security guard who asked not to be named told Sowetan that the chaos erupted when they attempted to allow only a few people inside the mall.

“Our job is to ensure that we control the number of people who enter the mall because of this virus,” he said.

“We opened the gate and people started pushing and wanted to get in. This was despite there having been order. People had lined up here since 5am. We’re talking about old people who came to collect their grants and other people,” he said.

He said the gate was also broken during the commotion but that nobody was injured.

“We were scared that people would die because of the impatience. It was a mess. We’re glad we were able to restore order,” he said.

The department of social development had announced that social grants for the elderly and disabled would be processed two days earlier in a bid to curb the spread of a Coronavirus.

Johannesburg Emergency Management Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said no injuries were reported to them.

The stampede occurred on the same day two elderly woman died while on their way to collect their social grants in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal respectively. The women died from natural causes after they both fell to the ground, one after she got off a taxi and the other while waiting in the queue for payments.

Meanwhile, Thandiwe Zulu from the Black Sash urged Sassa, the  SA Post Office, retailers and the banks to further refine their implementation plans to ensure that the Covid-19 safety protocols are strictly enforced for the remainder of this social grants payment run.

“The Black Sash believes that grant recipients want to comply with the lockdown, but the current socioeconomic conditions make this extremely challenging. We urge the department of social development to expand its current food feeding scheme plans and to urgently release funds from the R96-million Disaster Relief Fund to affected communities,” Zulu said.

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