University of the Witwatersrand vice-chancellor Adam Habib has denied claims that a white final-year medical student received special treatment by being pushed through despite failing a six-week integrated primary care course.
A group of angry students this week claimed that 27 black students in the same predicament had not been offered the same concession.
But Habib said the white student had in fact achieved the second-highest mark, but that an “administrative error” meant her mark had been incorrectly transcribed.
“She was not given a privilege. She passed; they [the others] failed,” he told the Sunday Times.
The university was unable to confirm claims by students this week that 90 out of the 95 final-year medical students at the university who failed one or more of their seven compulsory modules this year were black African.
The claims were made by a final-year student, Mtwakazi Bula, who said the statistics were gleaned from the health sciences faculty and as well as from the results posted on the so-called Sakai website — an official university website.
Bula, who is a founding member of the Black Health Professionals Association, said that of the other five students who had failed, two were white and three were Indian.