Rhodes University is pleased to announce that the applicants in the matter of Makhanda Against Mandates & Others v Rhodes University (Case no.: 124/2022) have elected to abandon their application in regard to the University's vaccine mandate.
The University has, since reopening in 2022, implemented a vaccine mandate approved by Council as a condition for entry onto campus for all staff, students, and visitors as part of a full and safe return to campus. The applicants, however, opted not to comply with the University vaccine mandate.
Approximately 98 percent of the university community (including staff and students) have since been vaccinated, and the University has incrementally returned to normal operations.
The University’s objective is to achieve a full return to normal on-campus activities, balanced with the protection of the health and safety of Rhodes University and the greater Makhanda communities.
With the assistance of internationally recognised scientists, the University confirmed in its court papers that not only do vaccinations reduce the risk of asymptomatic infection, symptomatic infections, severe illness and death, but they also have a marked impact on reducing the risk of transmission of the virus. The applicants did not dispute this in their court papers.
Rhodes University reiterates that the health and safety of the University and Makhanda communities remain its paramount concern during these unprecedented times.
It is regrettable that the University was forced to incur costs, in opposing the litigation, that should have been utilised in the academic endeavour.
The University thanks its legal team for continuing to protect the interests of the Rhodes University community.