In a landmark decision for the South African Nursing Council (SANC), Judge J Fabricius made a ruling on Friday 30 June 2017 in agreement with Circular 2 of 2017, issued by the SANC that the May 2017 examinations are nullified and new examination papers are set. New dates would remain as 19 and 21 July 2017, in line with his earlier ruling in a case between Hospersa and the SANC on 26 June 2017, which the SANC won.
Moving the dates to July provides the students with more time to prepare for the examinations, which the SANC fully supports. It is in the interest of the public at large to ensure that the training institutions produce qualified nurses who passed the examinations on their own strength, and will therefore have the necessary knowledge to serve the public of South Africa.
The nullification was on the basis of evidence that there was indeed a security breach with examinations for the Bridging Course for Enrolled Nurses leading to registration as a general nurse/ psychiatric nurse: Government Notice No. R.683 of 14 April 1989 (as amended).
DENOSA and other parties brought an urgent application that this Circular should be declared unlawful and therefore set aside. The application was dismissed with cost. As the Judge aptly put it: “if dishonesty becomes a norm the whole fabric of society will tear apart, and the rule of law will only remain a dream”.
Says Ms Sizo Mchunu, Acting Registrar of the SANC: “We are very appreciative and in full support of Honourable Fabricius’ ruling. We are dismayed about the leaking of the examination papers, especially in the light of the extra steps we have taken to ensure confidentiality. One can only wonder about the agenda of the people who leak the examination papers, as compromising the integrity of an examination and writing it on the basis of having had the paper beforehand, does not test the candidate’s capabilities to become a competent nurse practitioner, but exposes the country’s citizens to unsafe care.
We empathize with the students who are not involved in receiving leaked papers, as they are the ones who are adversely affected by this. We are shocked that persons who aspire to be Registered Nurses and certain high level constituencies are pro-examination fraud, resisting the SANC‘s efforts to mitigate this corrupt act and are encouraging Learner Nurses that it is acceptable to pass unjustly. By implication, the public’s health and safety will be jeopardized as a result.”
The Nursing Act requires proper qualifications and competency to practice nursing, in the interests of the public. Judge Fabricius took into account both the fact that the dishonesty was widespread, and the SANC’s statutory obligations to ensure the integrity of the examination process.
“We sit with a shortage of Professional Nurses in the country, and actions like this completely undermine all efforts by the SANC, the Department of Health and all concerned citizens to deliver qualified practitioners in the best interest of the public.
The investigation into the leak continues.
Official Spokesperson and person to be quoted:
Ms S Mchunu
Mrs. Adri van Eeden
For more information or to arrange for an interview with the Spokesperson, please contact Mrs. Adri van Eeden on Tel. (012) 426-9542 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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(Under the provisions of the Nursing Act, 2005)