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Wits University medical school disputes claims it is maliciously failing black students

Students at the University of Witwatersrand’s medical school have accused the school of failing black students and accepting bribes to pass certain white students. The students are accusing the school’s dean, professor Martin Veller, of being racist and failing students who have spoken against him.

The Black Health Professionals Association (BHPA), a campaign that raises awareness on the struggles of black students in the medical field, told The Daily Vox that student activists were being marked down as a way to prevent any sort of disruption on campuses.

“Racism at the medical school is historic. Students’ marks are being deliberately changed because the university knows that they are activists, and speak up against certain issues, so to silence them they bring down their marks,” a member of the campaign said.

Another member of the BHPA said that the Integrated Primary Care Block (a care course part of the Clinical Sciences course) failed only black students this year. The member said that a white student who had failed was allowed to rewrite her exams and not the rest of the other students. “She got a special exam and tutorials, just for her, two days before graduation and she graduated,” she said. The member also said the university refused to allow for the black students who failed to view their exam scripts. “The university said the reason why they didn’t allow the students who failed to view their scripts was because they didn’t want to compromise the integrity of the rubric,” she said. “Students were also told by the dean to change their attitude or they will not survive at this place,” she added.

This is not the first time students have complained about racism and discrimination at the university’s medical school. In 2015, black students said they were allegedly subjected to discrimination and racism.

On Twitter, the university’s vice chancellor, Adam Habib disputed the claims made under the #WitsMedSchoolIsRacist hashtag, calling them as fake news.

University spokesperson, Buhle Zuma, said that the students who failed, failed because they had not performed well academically. “These (small) groups suggest that they are being failed simply because they are black, without presenting any evidence to support their assertions,” she said. Zuma said that the university had instituted a three-month inquiry to look into claims of racism made by the students and “no charge of racism could be upheld.” The university said assessments and exams were externally marked and examination papers were also anonymous, containing only student numbers.

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3 Comments
  1. Henry Author Price Jr. says

    comrades unfortunately elements of Apartheid which hold key positions are very much alive thus, to keep medical school as reliable as it should be reliable monitors need be put in place. In addition, it would not be a bad idea to as total circumstance provide increase number of professors reflecting student body plus overall population of South Africa. It seems in many many instances this method as if it is magic wand resolve problems set forth here but also problems akin to those problems. Thereto should be found medical school environment conducive to developing healthcare professionals South Africa need plus deserve. However, whatever you all do please do not allow stupidity to rule. Very much sincere, Henry Author( people of books) Price Jr. aka Obediah Buntu Il-Khan aka Kankan aka Gue.

  2. Steven says

    Please be aware that Wits is racist towards all deserving white and Indian students who gets refused admission into med school because black studehts are given preference with 30% matric pass
    That us a fact and be honest and admit iy

  3. Boggi says

    It seems that blacks want an easy pass? The fact that white students with high academic marks are refused entry into universities to study medicine in favour of black students with lower marks is in itself racist but this the black people don’t see.
    If you are not equipped with the brain power to enter university to study medicine you should not be there!

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