MPL helps star pupil

2012-01-30 00:00

THE University of Cape Town (UCT) has only provisionally accepted a seven “As” matriculant who lived in a crowded RDP house near Kokstad.

Maths and Science were among her distinctions.

MPL John Jeffrey told The Witness that UCT’s medical school’s not accepting Gugu Sigamla’s personal circumstances meant the institution was “not in touch with reality”.

Gugu’s hopes were raised high last year when she submitted her Grade 11 results and the Faculty of Health Sciences wrote back, saying: “We are pleased to offer you a place in MBChB for 2012, and look forward to welcoming you to UCT.”

Sigamla’s Maths mark dropped from 92 percent for Grade 11 to 80 percent in her finals, leading to her provisionally acceptance.

That was when Jeffrey stepped in.

“When I spoke to the acting vice-chancellor of the university about this matter, he said the student would be placed in the waiting list.

“What I am not happy about is that they did not look in to personal circumstances of the student. They are not in touch with reality.”

Jeffrey called Gugu’s achievement incredible. “We need dedicated doctors like her, who are passionate,” he said. Gugu is the eldest child of six. Her parents, Nomthandazo and Arnistice Sigamla, are unemployed. Her father receives an old age grant.

UCT spokesperson Patricia Lucas confirmed that Gugu had been provisionally accepted.

“The Health Science Faculty at UCT received close to 5 000 applications for 220 places in the 2012 first-year programme for MBChB,” she said.

“The unexpected huge improvement in the National Senior Certificate results meant that applicants who did not qualify for an early offer suddenly had excellent marks that put them in a position to receive an offer for medical school.

“Because of lack of space, UCT has had to turn away many other applicants with similar backgrounds who had higher marks than Ms Sigamla.”

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