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Students seek interdict against UWC to prevent their 'eviction' from residences

Student leaders address students after the evictions at UWC. Picture: Supplied

Student leaders address students after the evictions at UWC. Picture: Supplied

Published Dec 24, 2021


Cape Town - Students have gone to court, seeking an urgent interdict against the UWC to prevent their eviction from student residences.

Their court challenge follows a violent clash on Wednesday between students and security officers which resulted in several injuries.

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This came after students at an off-campus post-graduate residence allegedly resisted their relocation.

Since Friday, UWC has been accused of evicting hundreds of students, leaving many to sleep outside or on the streets, while others locked themselves in their rooms to avoid what students branded an “eviction”.

Meanwhile, the university denied the students were being evicted, saying the closing of residences was part of its response to Covid-19.

The court papers by 44 applicants (students) stated that they have resided at the residence for varying periods of time ranging between nine months to three years.

“The respondents (UWC, both director and head of Security Services) each participated in unlawfully depriving the applicants of our possessions and evicting us from the residence on or about 21 and 22 December 2021."

UWC spokesperson Gasant Abarder said several security workers were assaulted yesterday. He said hot water was also thrown at security personnel. Picture: Supplied

UWC spokesperson Gasant Abarder said the university would comment on a court matter only once any ruling in such a court of law is taken.

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One of the applicants, who is a UWC Pasma secretary general, Samson Maliwa, said: “Students are being evicted not because of Covid-19 related issues but because money is very much important to this institution more than it's students”.

He said in their later statement they tried too hard to dilute the whole protest and went further to reduce it to a thing of mere 10 students. “However, as student leaders and as a student representative council affiliated to the structure the UWC, ’we vehemently reject the continuous unbecoming behaviour of this institution’.

“We can assure students that we will always be on the side. Year in and year out UWC always reserves space to accommodate students who want to do their research and the decision to call it off was taken overnight and gave students not enough time to find alternative accommodation. There were absolutely no proper consultations with students whatsoever,” he said.

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