Court bid to postpone Wits year-end exams fails


The application to have year-end examinations postponed until next year at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) was dismissed by the South Gauteng High Court on Wednesday.

The students launched an urgent court bid last week in which they sought the postponement to next year‚ or alternatively‚ until November 17 this year.                       

The Wits students‚ with the assistance of the Socio-Economics Rights Institute‚ had applied for the postponement because they felt traumatized and could not write examinations.

The dismissal of the application means that examinations will go ahead at Wits as planned‚ according to Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel.

Advocate Thulani Nkosi‚ who represented the students‚ said the court had acknowledged that his clients were‚ “indeed psychologically traumatised“.

“But the court says it has to balance the rights and interest of our clients against the right and interests of all the other students that do not find themselves in a similar conditions with our clients and the court felt that the university can then go ahead with the examinations‚” he said

Patel said the institution gave those affected students an option to write their examination in December for a few faculties‚ and also in January 2017.

“Students that cannot write now can apply to write deferred examinations (a second chance) as per the universities normal rules‚” said Patel.

Seadimo Tlale‚ who is a final-year law student at Wits and one of the students who brought the application‚ had argued in a founding statement that students had been left with very little time to prepare for the final examinations. She asked‚ therefore‚ that the court postpone the start of the exams by at least two weeks.

Wits’ first examinations took place earlier on Wednesday without any disruptions‚ Patel said. — TMG Digital


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