As we welcome our students who have accepted the offer to return to the University as part of the first 33% cohort of final year students.  We would like to use this platform to remind our students about the non-negotiables in our collective fight to flatten the curve, save lives and secure the future. In our previous issue communicated these non-negotiables, but, what we have witnessed on the ground - from a minority of students - compels us to repeat the message.


It is public knowledge that the Nelson Mandela Metro and the Western Cape where we have a campus are national COVID-19 hotspots and the infection rates are growing exponentially in the two provinces as well as in Gauteng. 

This is our reality - our new reality. This new reality calls for a radical re-examination of our behaviour. Student life, especially the social life of our students, cannot and will not be the same for the foreseeable future. We therefore need to internalise this reality and modify our actions to be in line with this undeniable truth. We do not need denialists but united action to fight the pandemic, flatten the curve and secure our collective future.

We call for Unity in Action!

A united action against the pandemic will require high levels of discipline.  Self-discipline will be central in the fight. We must resist the temptation of knowingly doing something that is wrong. Not wearing a mask in public, refusing to sanitise your hands, not washing your hands with soap for 20 seconds regularly, not physically distancing, and not complying with University protocols and mitigation measures against the pandemic, constitute self-disrespect and an intention to harm others.  To put it simply, it is an election for isolation from community as you cannot abide by its rules. As a community, we must refuse to be held back by those who have no respect for themselves and for life. 

Our lives as a people matter!

We are engaged in a united fight as disciplined and patriotic citizens, because we love life and humanity.  It is because of this love for life that we took tough decisions to adjust our lives, sacrifice those things that are not basic needs, prioritise the collective over the individual as we live in communal spaces and deliberately made a call for everyone to radically shift their mindsets and behavior for the sake of our collective future.   If we haven't, it’s time we love life more than anything else especially material things. Our daily actions and practices must communicate an unequivocal message that, we value life.

A university is generally a place where there is a convergence of some of the smartest and brightest in society. This confluence is not claimed but earned.

Our students are expected to typify this character in word and deed.  They have the privilege of access to all kinds of intellectual resources that can help them to be torchbearers and community builders. There are many examples on the path towards this direction. We expect more from you. We therefore do not expect you as the young intelligentsia of our society to be constantly reminded about the basics - things you should know because you are curious  and associated actions.

If we remain truly smart, we will overcome COVID-19

Luthando Jack

Dean of Students

Posted on 06 July 2020 11:00:20

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This platform serves as a reflective, discursive and connecting space between myself and the entire student community of our beloved university. Through this platform, we converse with our students and broader stakeholders on all matters of student life, wellbeing and development at Mandela University.

Luthando Jack, Dean of Students