Nullifying leaked nurses’ exams correct, judge says
Court finds in favour of Denosa for rewrite of papers
THE SOUTH African Nursing Council was correct in nullifying the May exams and calling for a rewrite, the Pretoria High Court has confirmed.
Last month, the council released a circular in which it stated that it had cancelled the May exams after a probe confirmed that the four question papers for the bridging course had been leaked.
But the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) objected, and its members protested outside the council premises in Pretoria to demonstrate their dissatisfaction.
On Friday, Judge Hans Fabricius agreed with the circular that the May exams be nullified and that new exam papers had to be set.
The exams will be rewritten on July 19 and 21, in line with Judge Fabricius’s earlier ruling in a case between the Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Unions of SA (Hospersa) and the nursing council in June.
In that matter, Hospersa had applied for the postponement of re-exams to allow students enough time to study as the set date was too close. Re-exams were initially scheduled for June 27 and June 30.
The acting registrar of the nursing council, Sizeni Mchunu, said they appreciated the ruling made on Friday. “It is in the interests of the public to ensure that the training institutions produce qualified nurses who passed the exams on their own strength, and will therefore have the necessary knowledge to serve the public of South Africa,” she said.
Mchunu said the nullification was on the basis of evidence that there was a security breach with exam papers for the bridging course for enrolled nurses leading to registration for general nurses and psychiatric nurses.
“Investigations are still under way and we are still dismayed about the leaking of the exam papers, especially in the light of the extra steps we have taken to ensure confidentiality,” she said.
Denosa, meanwhile, said it would fight on. “Our lawyers are studying the judgment, but we would like to make it clear that the matter is far from over,” said Denosa general secretary Oscar Phaka.