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21 June 2017



The Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) is disappointed by the action taken by the South African Nursing Council (SANC) in cancelling the Bridging course examinations due the alleged leaking of the exam paper.  The Union has registered its objection to the Council’s handling of the matter, whereby some of the learners are expected to re-write the examinations at short notice before the investigations of the security breach can be concluded.

On 12 June 2017, the SANC issued Circular 2/2017 informing nursing students about the cancellation of examinations for the bridging course for Enrolled Nurses leading to registration as General/Psychiatric Nurse.  The circular is based on the Council’s allegations that some of the leaners had access to the examination question papers prior to the date on which they were due to write.  According to the circular, the first year examinations for the Bridging Course written on 5 and 8 May 2017 are now null and void.  The Council has also cancelled the second year examinations for the Bridging Course that was due to be written on 24 and 26 May 2017.

“Hospersa strongly objects to this cancellation of examinations,” said Hospersa General Secretary Noel Desfontaines.  “We take issue with the fact that the Council has not provided any further or detailed information on the security breach that it is investigating.  We have written to the Council to pronounce our dissatisfaction on their handling of this matter,” added Desfontaines.

The circular also informs learners that the Council will reconvene the examinations on 28 and 30 June 2017.  First year learners would then have to re-write the examination even though the investigation is yet to be concluded.

“It is somewhat reactionary to order a re-write when the investigation is still ongoing,” argued Desfontaines.  “The better course of action would surely be to accept the result of the examinations already written and then discipline those who cheated, rather than tar every single learner with the same brush,” he added.

“We have asked the Council to furnish us with information on what the status of those learners will be who may not be timeously advised of the re-write, the extent of the breach as well as the geographical areas where the breach occurred,” said Desfontaines.

“The security breach was on the side of the SANC and we hope that the weak point in the system will be identified and rectified to avoid a repeat in the future.  We request that Council set aside the directive in Circular 2/2017 and the scheduled new examinations be placed on hold pending the outcome of the investigation,” concluded Desfontaines.


Total words (excluding heading):  436


For interviews please contact Hospersa General Secretary Noel Desfontaines – 083-321-4427.

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