Covid-19: Wits SRC slams university for approving mandatory vaccination policy without its approval

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Sandile Ndlovu
  • The Wits student representative council has slammed the institution for approving a proposed mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy without their approval.
  • The policy requires all members of the university community to have themselves vaccinated against Covid-19.
  • The council says the policy contradicts the announcement that the president made on Sunday.

The Wits student representative council (SRC) has raised concerns about the university's proposed mandatory Covid-19 vaccine policy, which requires all members of the university community to have themselves vaccinated against Covid-19.

Wits announced last Friday that the proposed policy had been approved and would be implemented from 1 January 2022. The policy states that the university may deregister students who have not presented their vaccine cards or deny them the opportunity to live in Wits residences.

But, according to the SRC, the university approved the policy after the council raised concerns and disapproved of it.

"This policy that has been implemented by the institution goes against and contradicts the announcement and statement made by the president of the country on national television which stated: 'Nobody will be forced to take this vaccine. Nobody will be forbidden from travelling wherever they want to travel to - including from enrolling at school and taking part in any activity if they have not been vaccinated,'" SRC president Cebolenkosi Khumalo said in a statement.

READ | Wits and UWC adopt mandatory Covid-19 vaccine policies for students and staff

Khumalo added that it would be "naive" to think that Wits could not infringe on students' rights when it comes to other aspects of life on campus.

The SRC also said the institution was not entitled to students' private medical information.

Khumalo said:

The violation of the right to privacy must vigorously be opposed.

The SRC has since proposed its own measures to ensure the safety of all students without mandatory vaccinations.

It suggested that the university should offer antibody testing for all and that unvaccinated students should be allowed to register and enter the campus with negative anti-body tests paid for by the university.

"All students should be allowed to attend social programmes and graduation as well as access Wits residents with a negative test."

Other universities are also implementing similar policies for next year.

The University of Free State (UFS) said that it adopted a vaccine mandate, which is to be implemented in February next year.

The UFS said its new policy did not force anyone to be vaccinated, and that the institution had the right to require vaccination to protect staff and students.

Never miss a story. Choose from our range of newsletters to get the news you want delivered straight to your inbox.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Authorities should bring in the army already
10% - 1592 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
53% - 8573 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
34% - 5404 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 511 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.