Solidarity consults with legal team on UCT making vaccination mandatory
20 October 2021
Solidarity today announced that it is meeting with its legal team to challenge the controversial decision of the University of Cape Town (UCT) to make vaccination mandatory for students as well as for university employees.
“In South Africa we enjoy certain fundamental rights such as the right to bodily integrity and the right to freedom of religion, belief and opinion. Furthermore, students also have a right to education. A university council cannot simply revoke all these rights. This issue is not merely a debate on the desirability of vaccination or otherwise, but much rather about South Africans’ right to make their own decisions about what may enter their bodies,” Paul Maritz, manager of Solidarity Youth explains. “UCT is a public university and must therefore be accessible to all South Africans. The university has no right to discriminate in such a blatant manner against those who are not vaccinated”.
Solidarity further contends that it is outrageous that UCT tries to align itself with a survey undertaken among students and employees as such a survey by no means carries weight in the making of such decisions.
“The reason for a constitution in South Africa is precisely because we have to protect the marginalised from oppression by the majority. Human rights cannot be voted away or wished away in a survey. The Constitution does not make provision for two separate sets of human rights in our country, one for the vaccinated and one for the unvaccinated,” Maritz says. “At the moment it appears as if no one will be allowed to study or work at the university if not vaccinated. This is absurd. People who are not vaccinated still remain human and as such they have human rights. No university, whether through a senate or otherwise, can deprive South Africans of their humanity,” Maritz concludes.