Protesters win battle

2016-12-01 06:00
 UWC students toy-toying outside the Cape High Court moments before the judgement was handed in their favour. PHOTO: martha qumba

UWC students toy-toying outside the Cape High Court moments before the judgement was handed in their favour. PHOTO: martha qumba

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University of the Western Cape students celebrated victory outside the Cape High Court on Tuesday.

Earlier this year, the workers and students protested against outsourcing of services at the university.

The university took the matter to court, asking for an interdict against the workers and students.

However, judgement was granted against the university authorities on Tuesday.

After the outcome, the students and workers legal representatives, Advocate Luleka Flatela and Sithemba Vobi addressed the masses outside the court.

They said that their victory symbolised their constitutional rights to protest.

Advocate Flatela said: “The court opposed the interdict. The court suggested mediation, although it said it cannot enforce it as it was a voluntary act.

If the university doesn’t want insourcing, the workers can approach independent mediators.”

She added that although the university council accepted the socio economic conditions of the outsourced workers, it also supported the insourcing of workers in principle.

“The council mandated the university to look into the long term impact of insourcing and to explore possible alternatives such as worker cooperatives.

It was further agreed that a committee of all stakeholders will be formed to look into this issue.

In February, the workers were told the insourcing was not feasible, said Flatela.

Some workers pointed out that outsourcing is making them poorer.

They said the court decision on Tuesday was a victory for them.

Ntombikayise Magwejana, a worker, said she was happy with the court decision to protest without fear of an interdict.

“The issue is about outsourcing and the university doesn’t want to hire us...instead they interdicted us.

They didn’t get what they wanted. We are still going to fight, there’s no turning back. We want insourcing. I had a hope in our legal team that we would win the case,” she said.

Nolitha Gece, a leader said they did nothing(wrong) from the start and it’s their right to protest.

“Our sin was to write to them about insourcing..then we were arrested. We want insourcing. The rich will never share with the poor,” she says.

V Continued on page 3.

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