Wits Medical School probe over falsification of marks met with racism claims

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A Wits University’s medical school probe into allegations that black medical students falsified their portfolio marks has been met with racism claims, reports City Press. The management’s decision to exonerate a white student has sparked claims that the university’s medical school was targeting black students. The report says six black students, who were expected to graduate last year, could not do so after their final results were withheld pending the outcome of the investigation.

The six were studying towards a three-year Bachelor of Clinical Medical Practice degree. The report says Wits University did not respond to questions last week about the outcome of that investigation. Last year, the six allegedly awarded themselves marks throughout the year for performing certain tasks at Gauteng hospitals. They were charged with misconduct, which could result in them being expelled, if found guilty.
The alleged misconduct was only picked up late last year, ahead of their graduations, a situation which the lawyer of Jimmy Shembe (not his real name), one of the affected students, raised as a concern.

The report says Wits University spokesperson Buhle Zuma denied all the allegations made against the university, saying the institution reserved its right to respond to these claims at an appropriate time. “All matters which are referred to the university’s legal office are investigated in accordance with the university’s rules, policies and procedures. Where evidence shows that there is a prima facie case for a student to answer, that student is charged. The inverse applies of course.” She said there was no evidence to charge the white student. Zuma said the university was willing to share the “overwhelming evidence” against Shembe, provided City Press had his permission.

The report says the SA Human Rights Commission had not yet approached the university.

Full City Press report

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