The Wits SRC has come out strongly in opposition to the idea of mandatory vaccination.
They say compelling people to vaccinate goes against people’s right to choose, as enshrined in the Constitution.
Wits SRC President Sithembiso Dabula says: “We are rejecting mainly because we are pro-choice. We are not saying students mustn’t vaccinate, we are against the framework that Wits is proposing. So, Wits is forcing students and staff to vaccinate. So, we are not against people vaccinating, we are against Wits forcing people to vaccinate. People should decide for themselves whether they want to vaccinate or not.”
In the tweet below, the Wits SRC outlines its stance against the idea of forced vaccinations:
Where ‘logic’ is used to oppress and isolate us, it is our duty to be illogical! Witsies will vaccinate when they want! pic.twitter.com/1RuCPojw3i
— Wits SRC (@Wits_SRC) October 11, 2021
Some universities across South Africa are also considering mandatory vaccination for staff and students.
Last month, the University of Cape Town confirmed that a proposal on mandatory vaccinations would be considered by its senate.
The institution had said it expected that the matter will be debated fully before its council makes a final decision.
The South African Union of Students (SAUS) says universities should not compel students to vaccinate against COVID-19.
It says students must be able to choose whether they want to take the vaccine.
A member of the union’s national executive council, Asive Dlanjwa, says no public institution should engage in a mandatory policy but rather encourage students to vaccinate.
Ethics in higher education
Meanwhile, amid concerns that COVID-19 vaccinations in South Africa are not going according to the set targets, the Higher Education and Training Sector is once again calling on students to get vaccinated.
CEO of Higher Health, Professor Ramneek Ahluwalia, outlines the approach that institutions of higher education could employ to encourage and get more learners to vaccinate: