Evictions at UWC Residences Leaves Rooms Destroyed and Staff Assaulted as 100s of Students Have Nowhere to Go

Evictions at UWC Residences Leaves Rooms Destroyed and Staff Assaulted as 100s of Students Have Nowhere to Go

  • University of the Western Cape students were asked to relocate to alternative accommodation so that their residences could undergo maintenance
  • The university's management says that the students were informed well in advance of the situation
  • Those who did not want to leave their residences protested against what they view as a mass eviction

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CAPE TOWN - Students of the University of the Western Cape (UWC) have reportedly been evicted on a mass scale since Friday (17 December) and retaliated by protesting against the university.

UWC said that they were relocating students to alternative accommodation so that their current residences could undergo deep cleaning, but many students are refusing this as they interpret it as mass eviction.

According to News24, UWC planned to not only conduct deep cleaning but also institute their campus vaccination policy. This policy states that in order for anyone to access the UWC campus and its associated facilities, they will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

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UWC students kicked out of res with nowhere to go, university says students knew about evictions in advance

Eviction, University of the Western Cape, UWC, Covid-19, vaccine policy, relocation
UWC students resisted relocation to alternative accommodation so the university could conduct deep cleaning. Image: Twitter/ @UWConline
Source: Twitter

Details of the protest and their results

The group of students who had elected to remain on campus in their residences over the December break were informed of the university's intentions to clean their residences during that period, EWN reports. Many of these students have been sleeping outside as they have no access to housing.

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Gasant Abarder, a spokesperson for UWC, said that students were made aware of the scheduled maintenance on 2 December and that they needed to vacate their residences by 17 December. Those who were evicted are the students who ignored the notice.

The evicted students protested by inflicting property damage and assaulting security staff members, including throwing hot water and punching them.

South Africans respond to the evictions at UWC

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@Madume_28 believes:

"This is nothing compared to what is still going to happen in 2022 when the universities reopen. This draconian vaccination mandate will see the destruction of the universities."

@sn_phiri said:

"Nice move, students."

@LyndaJane8 asked:

"Why are these students still at university residences in the first place, it's not a hotel?"

@Brian84065065 shared:

"If they are acting under instructions then there are legal grounds for a criminal case against the students. Their gripe should be with the administration or whoever deals with accommodation on campus."

@02nyc1 remarked:

"Always must revert to violence."

UWC issues an interim vaccine mandate, students say it could be discriminatory

In other news about UWC, Briefly News previously reported that the university has announced that it will be compulsory for its students to be vaccinated against Covid-19 if they wish to access campus (including residences) or attend events held by the university.

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This policy will come into effect at the beginning of next year. Other tertiary education institutions, such as the University of the Free State and the University of the Witwatersrand, have implemented similar policies.

The students will be allowed to register irrespective of their vaccination status. However, students do not feel that this concession is enough and many are predicted to protest against the new policy.

Source: Briefly News

Authors:
Claudia Gross avatar

Claudia Gross (Editor) Claudia Gross holds an MA in Journalism from Stellenbosch University. She joined Briefly's Current Affairs desk in 2021. Claudia enjoys blending storytelling and journalism to bring unique angles to hard news. She looks forward to a storied journalistic career.

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