Cash dash turns into frenzied mess

UCT students that assembled at the UCT Plaza for the R10 note cash crab.

A dash-for-cash publicity stunt at UCT got out of hand, say students, one of whom claims to be have been hurt in the ensuing fray.

DigsConnect, a student-accommodation company, ran the stunt in which hundreds of students scrambled to grab R10 000 worth of R10 notes in the plaza on the upper campus last Thursday.

DigsConnect co-founder Greg Keal said they had checked with UCT beforehand and been told the plaza would be the safest place to run the stunt.

Mr Keal said it was “sad” that a few people had taken things “too far”.

First-year student Amrah Manie said she had grazed her knee in the middle of the 15-minute money drop.

She said she had also lost her student card in the melee, although she had found it later, slightly damaged.

Ms Manie said she had seen two girls on the floor, disorientated as the students grabbed at the money.

Second-year student Andrew Young took part with three friends.

“About a metre away from me, someone threw up a stack of R10s and everyone around me started grasping at the falling notes. It was just a frenzy of bodies. As I tried to get back onto my feet, the weight of the bodies around me made me uneasy.

“A few more bodies dropped to the floor around me, and I really began to wonder if there was going to be a stampede.”

Mr Young said one of his friends had had a “panic attack” after losing her spectacles, and one of the people tossing the money had fallen in front of him, dropping a stack of R10s.

UCT spokesman Elijah Moholola said they were unaware of anyone having been injured in the incident. The university had been informed about the planned venue for the stunt and had arranged security, he said.

“Members of the Campus Protection Services who were on the scene have confirmed that there were no injuries witnessed or reported during the event. We have not had a single injury reported through any of the university channels either,” said Mr Moholola.

Mr Keal said, “The response after the money drop yesterday was overwhelmingly positive. It is incredibly sad that there were a few people who took it too far, but, in general, the response on all our socials has been overwhelmingly positive.”