Wits students apply for interdict to delay exams by two weeks
Student Seadimo Tlale says those students who have been attending lectures have been in constant fear for their wellbeing from both protesting students and police
Students from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) with the assistance of the Socio-Economics Rights Institute (Seri), have applied for an interdict in the High Court in Johannesburg, to prevent the university from commencing with its end-of-year examinations on Thursday.
The parties are asking for a postponement of at least two weeks.
The application will be heard on Monday.
In her founding affidavit‚ Seadimo Tlale‚ a final year LLB student and one of the students bringing the application‚ argues that students have been left with very little time to prepare for the final examinations‚ and therefore asks that the court postpone the commencement of the exams by at least two weeks.
"If the examination were to continue on that date it would have the inevitable consequences that the vast majority of students will either fail (or substantially underachieve) or‚ to avoid that consequence‚ the university will have to impose a general increase in the marks of all students‚" she said in her affidavit.
Tlale further states that students have been traumatised by the heavy police presence and violence they have experienced.
"This period (Fees Must Fall protests) has been marked not only by ongoing violence but a strong police presence‚ as well. Police have fired stun grenades‚ tear gas and rubber bullets indiscriminately. Apparently‚ no distinction has been made between protesting and nonprotesting students‚" she said. "Those who attend lectures are in constant fear for their wellbeing from both protesting students and police alike."
Tlale states that the students do not intend challenging the writing of examinations‚ but that the university has "underestimated the emotional and psychological trauma of the tensions on campus and has not afforded us sufficient time to prepare in conditions that are not conducive towards our success".
"I can state quite categorically that every one of my lecturers is rushing through the course content and dealing with almost all aspects‚ sometimes dense material‚ in a superficial manner‚" she said.