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DENOSA commences legal action against SANC on cancelled exams for student nurses doing bridging course

Media statement 


Wednesday, 21 June 2017   


The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) had given South African Nursing Council until 10h00 today to retract its irrational and ill-conceived Circular 2 of 2017, failure of which DENOSA made it clear that it will take the legal route against the Council. 


On 12 June, the Council, which is the regulatory body for Nursing in South Africa, issued Circular 2 of 2017 to all Nursing Education Institutions (NEIs), stating that it has come to its attention that some students had access to the exam papers prior to the day of the examination and that, while its investigation is still underway, it has decided to cancel the examinations and set the new date for all students to rewrite the examinations on 28 and 30 June 2017 respectively. 


The Council has not responded to our letter by 10h00 today and until this hour. Consequently, DENOSA has briefed its lawyers to initiate the legal action against the Council. Through its legal representatives, DENOSA has written a letter of demand to the Council to immediately nullify their prejudicial circular and demand to see the following: 


-          The resolution of the Council to issue the circular and cancel the May exams; and 

-          The evidence as a basis for the decision to issue the circular by the Council. 


Prior to this legal route, DENOSA made a request for an urgent physical meeting with the Council on Monday, but the Council through the office of the Acting CEO/registrar cited unavailability this whole week.  


DENOSA is making it known that it won't allow student nurses to be subjected to an ill-considered and unfair decision to rewrite the exams and be the ones punished for SANC's loose internal controls. 


DENOSA calls on all its structures to mobilise its members and student nurses and ensure that no student complies with this all-punishing and unfair circular by rewriting exams that thousands of students have already written as that would be covering up for SANC's inefficiencies as a regulatory body. SANC must first conclude its own investigation before jumping guns and concluding on new dates for rewriting and cancellation of the May examination. DENOSA fully supports the investigation by the Council, but believes that fairness, consideration and justice should be at the core of its functioning.  


All the affected student nurses have absolutely nothing to be apologetic for if the investigation has not been done and concluded by the Council first. This decision is creating all inconvenience for institutions as they have to reschedule programmes and all students placed at health institutions must be recalled at the exam time and coordination of their study period will be severely interrupted for something that was not of their own doing.    


Furthermore, DENOSA calls on SANC Acting Registrar to step down if she can't steer the profession towards the path of fairness. She has proven not to be helpful when it mattered the most for the matter concerning student nurses. We hope it is not due to bitterness because of our march on 22 February when we complained about the Council’s failing of the nursing profession.  


All these students are extremely demoralized and feel that the nursing profession is increasingly becoming distasteful of them, and that’s unacceptably prejudicial treatment that they don’t deserve at any time of day considering their full commitment to and passion for the nursing profession. 


Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) 

For more information or interview with DENOSA General Secretary, Oscar Phaka, contact:

Sibongiseni Delihlazo, DENOSA Communications Manager

Mobile: 072 584 4175  


Facebook: DENOSA National Page