UniZulu expels pregnant students in final trimester – Commission for Gender Equality finds

2018-11-23 20:55

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The University of Zululand (UniZulu) "expels" pregnant students from residences when they are in their final trimester of pregnancy, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has found.

The commission released its findings on Thursday following its hearings into gender policy at tertiary institutions.  

CGE spokesperson Javu Baloyi told News24 that its legal officer Mlondolozi Vava, held a meeting with UniZulu's recently elected Student Representative Council (SRC) on October 16.

The issues that the SRC raised, including the alleged expulsion of pregnant students, included the university not providing prenatal services for students (during the pregnancy), according to the CGE.

According to the commission, other issues raised during the meeting with the SRC included: The university's ambulance not assisting students with pregnancy-related emergencies, the university expecting deaf students to lip read lecturers when in class and the university not having a sexual harassment policy, but a draft one.

The SRC also confirmed that they were not aware of the draft policy, according to the CGE.

"[The] CGE will investigate further and UniZulu was requested to respond in writing," said Baloyi.

But UniZulu spokesperson Gcina Nhleko-Mdluli denied the allegations.

"There has been no student who has been chased away from university residences as a result of pregnancy, neither is there a policy," she said via email.

Nhleko Mdluli said the findings were "malicious" and were "regressing the efforts championed by the university on gender issues".

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