Covid-19 lockdown: CPUT student ‘ostracised’ for flouting residence curfew

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Cape Town – A CPUT student claims she has been ostracised from her campus residence for allegedly flouting the regulation and sleeping out of her residence.

Chulumanco Nkasela, an EFF representative on campus, said the student left to get food from a friend.

“She didn’t return within the set curfew times and was subjected to a Covid-19 test, as per the rules of the institution.”

Nkasela said the student went to Groote Schuur Hospital, where she received a letter stating she had been screened, but wasn’t tested as she showed no symptoms and it had been less than 24 hours since she could have been infected.

“So she went back to her residence with the proof of screening. Now, some students are ostracising her and effectively harassing her.

“The house parent was called, and then a house meeting was also called and it was put at students’ liberty to decide to have her evicted or not,” Nkasela said.

According to a letter seen by Cape Argus, the student has been told by CPUT that “as a result of your conduct on or around the April 22 and at a subsequent time, you will be formally charged for contravening the CPUT rules on Covid-19”.

“In addition to charging you internally, I also wish to inform you that your irresponsible behaviour constitutes criminal conduct in that you breached the provisions of the Regulations of the Disaster Management Act, which carries a criminal sanction, if convicted,” the letter said.

Spokesperson Lauren Kansley said CPUT had two time slots for students to leave residences, and those periods were managed by campus security.

“We have roughly 1 800 in residences currently, while the rest (of the students) have gone home. The student in question flouted the regulation and slept out of residence for an evening. That posed a serious risk to the rest of the students,” she said.

Her fellow students asked that she leave the residence, Kansley added.

“She is a local student and was escorted home, since her own safety was also at risk due to the anger from fellow students, and because she had wilfully ignored the rules,” she said.

Kansley said she was now in the care of her family, and had she abided by the rules she would still be in residence.

According to the letter, it was advised that formal charges will be proffered against the student and that she will be served with a charge sheet after the expiration of the lockdown period.


By Sisonke Mlamla


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