Universities South Africa (USAF) CEO Professor Ahmed Bawa says universities cannot force people to take jabs.
This comes after the University of the Free State declared that it wants all its staff and students to be vaccinated and produce vaccination certificates from the first of February next year. According to the university the certificates will be needed to gain access to the university.
However, Professor Bawa admits that forcing people to vaccinate is a violation of their rights, but he says it would be accepted if only there is any legislation or regulation that mandates students or staff to take vaccines. He went further to articulate that mandatory COVID-19 vaccination cannot be made by oral proclamation like the way the University of the Free State did.
Nevertheless, he accepts the fact that in this case it is done for the good of society. He says no matter what, we cannot overlook the gesture of the universities of trying to make campuses as safe as possible for students, staff and visitors.
“Some universities are opting for vaccines to make the campuses safe because that’s the best way to do it from all the scientific evidence. I wouldn’t call it a mandatory policy, but I would say is that clearly, the University of the Free State wants to require all of its students and staff to be vaccinated, but of course, they can’t force people to be vaccinated. It’s a violation of your right, but it is a violation of your individual right on the basis that it’s what is good for society,” said Professor Bawa.