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Dreams deferred: Wits students lose bid to remain in residences

A group of students from the University of the Witwatersrand have failed in their high court bid to force the institution to allow students writing the deferred exams to remain in residences while waiting to write.

The South Gauteng High Court on Monday dismissed the students’ application which was launched on October 28.

According to the university rules, students opting to write the deferred exams have to vacate residences by November 5 until just before the date of the deferred exams.

The deferred exams for students in the faculties of health sciences, commerce, law and management and the humanities were scheduled for early December while those for all other faculties will be written in January next year.

Judge Willem Hendrik Gabriel van der Linde said in his 15-page judgment that there were likely to be students in residences that were currently sitting for the exams that were underway.

“They may potentially be distracted by those who are not yet sitting and are awaiting the deferred exam dates.

“One does not know whether leaders of groupings that are intent on scuppering the 2016 academic year are included among those (not the applicants) that would want to benefit from staying on in the residences for November, perhaps as a foothold to perpetrate renewed violent protest action,” stated Judge Van der Linde in his judgment.

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Prega Govender
Prega Govender is the Mail & Guardians education editor. He was a journalist at the Sunday Times for almost 20 years before joining the M&G in May 2016. He has written extensively on education issues pertaining to both the basic and higher education sectors.

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