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SOUTH AFRICA: Students Challenge Their Uni’s Oder To Evacuate Residence Over Coronavirus

By Published March 18, 2020

Two law students of a Johannesburg University have approached the courts to challenged their university authority’s decision to send them home over the coronavirus pandemic.

Lerato Moela and Matsobane Shaun Matlhwana of university of Witwatersrand filed an application in the Gauteng High Court on Tuesday seeking an order to prevent the university from evacuating the students within 72 hours as announced without testing them for the virus.

They claim their concern is health related as students will be going home without knowing their infection status, and may then infect their families and others.

This comes after it was announced on Sunday that a Wits medical student had tested positive for the virus even though the student did not display any symptoms.

A founding affidavit says: "There is uncertainty as to whether or not the students have contracted the virus through the possible social and classroom interactions with the affected students.

Though Wits University is yet to file a counter affidavit, Wits’ communication’s officer, Buhle Zuma, said the students initiated their action without knowing the details and added that their case was based on false information.

"The university will request that they carry the costs of this frivolous action. This is an irresponsible, reckless act which obstructs the fight against Covid-19 and is in contravention of the state's strategy and protocol to address the pandemic.

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