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23 June 2017



The Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) has raised concerns with the South African African Nursing Council (SANC) over its decision to cancel Bridging Course examinations due to alleged leaking of the exam paper. The Union has taken the Council to task over its handling of the matter whereby learners are expected to re-write an examination at short notice.

On 20 June 2017, Hospersa wrote to the SANC regarding the Council’s Circular 2/2017 on the cancellation of the Bridging Course for Enrolled Nurses leading to registration as General/Psychiatric Nurse. In the letter, the Union criticised the Council’s decision to cancel the examination and demanded a report on the extent of the alleged breach. The SANC circular, dated 12 June 2017, had communicated that while investigations were ongoing, the first year examinations for the Bridging Course written on 5 and 8 May 2017 are now null and void and learners would have to re-write the examination on 28 and 30 June 2017.

“The Council’s decision to cancel these examinations was not thought through,” said Hospersa General Secretary Noel Desfontaines. “To order a re-write of an examination at such short notice will place untold and undue stresses on the learners from both a financial and workplace aspect. Some learners may not even be timeously advised of the re-write,” argued Desfontaines.

The Council has since responded to the Union’s letter citing that the alleged breach undermines the credibility of the results. It remained firm on its decision to order a re-write even in light of the short time allocated for learners to prepare.

“Hospersa is concerned by this response and holds a strong view that learners will not have enough time to prepare. We have briefed our legal counsel with a view to obtaining an urgent interdict in the High Court to halt the examination,” said Desfontaines.

“Our counsel has advised us that we have a strong case for success, yet the decision to grant our application still rests with the judge. In the interim, we urge our members to prepare for the examinations should the application be unsuccessful, in that instance we will look to explore other available avenues to challenge the Council’s decision,” concluded Desfontaines.




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

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