SASCO RESPONSE TO VACCINE MANDATES: DHET MUST RISE UP TO LEAD THE SECTOR
The South African Student Congress (SASCO) has noted the cowardly statement issued by the Ministry of Higher Education & Training released on Wednesday, 23 February 2022. In this clear display of cowardice and consistent with the anti-people stance of the department, the minister yet again fails in giving leadership and in directing higher education in South Africa.
Instead of guiding all institutions to halt their inept, bizarre and unconstitutional council decisions on vaccine mandates, the minister missed yet another opportunity to discharge his responsibilities on behalf of the peoples government. Whereas he could have quite easily halted these decisions up until a time where the department implementing agency Higher Health had finalised the proposed Vaccine Mandate on behalf of the department, to ensure a people centred approach.
These actions have allowed Universities to operate above and beyond the laws of South Africa, perpetuating the incorrect notion that Universities operate in isolation of our governments framework which guides the country’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The continued fear and paralysis displayed by the Minister towards University South Africa or any mention of the words “VC or Council” further emboldens the backward section in our society which is hellbent on keeping in place Apartheid systems of exclusion in higher education and are opposed to any transformation of the Higher Education sector and our collective efforts as South Africans toward a single coordinated Fee-Free Higher & Quality Education.
SASCO strongly condemns in the strongest terms possible the actions by the Durban University of Technology which saw first year students not being allocated Residence’s and sleeping in the unsafe streets of eThekwini. We have noted this inhumane treatment of students from the pseudo-progressives at the University of Johannesburg, University of Cape Town, Wits, University of Pretoria and they shall not go unpunished.
The minister has until Monday, 28 February 2022 to act decisively in defence of our fellow African students, failure of which SASCO will embark on a nationwide shutdown of all institutions whilst we approach our courts to fill the leadership vacuum left by Nzimande.
Whilst SASCO supports and encourages all students to vaccinate, we are strongly opposed to mandatory vaccination as it is a form of coercion which leverages our fundamental right to an education against our freedom of choice and belief which is guaranteed in the constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
Issued by SASCO
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