Nursing Council offices targeted in row over nursing examinations

26 June 2017 - 14:20
By Petru Saal
Nurses protest against SANC. File Photo
Image: Katharine Child Nurses protest against SANC. File Photo

Rubbish bins and paper were set alight and hurled at the Pretoria offices of the South African Nursing Council (SANC) in an ongoing dispute over nursing examinations.

SANC acting registrar Sizeni Mchunu said the offices were accessed by the Democratic Organisation of Nurses in South Africa (DENOSA) on Friday “without authorisation‚ legal permission or an appointment for any meeting".

"It is with dismay that we can confirm that fires were set‚ property was damaged and staff members were intimidated‚” she said in a statement.

“It is consequently understood that DENOSA was there to demand that the Council’s Acting Registrar unduly addresses a matter regarding the SANC cancelling examinations‚ which DENOSA itself has handed over to its attorneys to handle‚” said Mchunu.

Mchunu said that the SANC had only scheduled a meeting with the student command of the Economic Freedom Front (EFFSC) on that day to speak about various student challenges.

“The situation with the DENOSA members was diffused by the police who were called to curb the violence‚ prevent further damage to property and to protect the SANC staff whose safety is the SANC’s responsibility and is not taken lightly‚” said Mchunu.

The deadlock between SANC and DENOSA comes after the SANC cancelled the May examinations after test papers were allegedly leaked. DENOSA has strongly condemned the move to cancel the examinations‚ calling it inconvenient and ill conceived.

SANC stood by their decision to cancel the May exams‚ saying: “Such cancellation ensures that all students who write the same examination pass fairly and credibly so that the public has confidence that they are safe and competent nurse practitioners‚” said Mchunu.

Mchunu said that the investigations into the leaked exam papers would continue so that legal action against the perpetrators could be instituted.

- TimesLIVE