KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo registered his shock after a syndicate selling spots at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Nelson Mandela School of Medicine was busted last week.
Three people‚ who appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate’s court on Monday‚ are alleged to have negotiated bribes and liaised with university staff to enrol prospective students in the sought-after spots. They were granted bail of R40‚000 each.
The price of a seat in the school of medicine was purported to be R500‚000‚ while R250‚000 got a spot in the faculties of pharmacy‚ optometry and audiology. Exam question and answer papers were also available at a fee.
Dhlomo praised the police who had been tasked with investigating the matter.
“We would like to commend the Hawks‚ SAPS and all other parties involved in this operation‚ which has led to these arrests. The Department has an extremely valuable and strategic partnership with UKZN‚ which has borne a lot of fruit in terms of improving health outcomes in the Province‚” he said.
“The field of health sciences cannot be likened to any other‚ because it is about life and death. As such‚ there is absolutely no room for people to commit fraud in this or any other manner.
“Indeed‚ such actions fly in the face of all our efforts to transform the health sector and ensure that deserving students from all regions get an equal opportunity to study health sciences – not just those whose parents can afford a bribe.”
Jeff Wicks is a journalist at News24.
This article appeared in Times Live on 16 May 2017