Solidarity says it has launched a court case against the University of the Free State on its vaccination policy which compels students and employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The union says the blanket approach on vaccinations is a violation of human rights and does not take into account the unique situation of individuals.
Connie Mulder, head of the Solidarity Research Institute, says they have received more than 300 complaints requesting litigation on the matter. Mulder adds that their bid is in an effort to seek legal certainty on mandatory vaccination.
“We have been against mandatory vaccinations from the very start, saying quite frankly that it’s not necessary to get a vaccination program. It simply won’t work and that is why we are now approaching the courts to get legal certainty about what is the status of mandatory vaccinations,” he says.
“Especially given the fact that several employers have now embarked on mandatory vaccinations campaigns locking out employees or limiting access to workplaces on people based on their vaccination status. I am aware of the opinion that this will polarise and politicise the vaccination program. Vaccination is an exception, not a rule,” adds Mulder.
In December 2021, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) said it plans to approach the Constitutional Court to seek a declaratory order on the issue of mandatory vaccination.
Meanwhile, Labour and Employment Minister Thulas Nxesi said government was working to finalise consultations on the introduction of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in the country.
Delivering the keynote address at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) annual summit in Johannesburg in 2021, Nxesi said government had already received input from representatives of government, business and labour about what should be done to facilitate the introduction of mandatory vaccination, especially in the workplace.
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