SAMA wants swift probe into UKZN medical school fraud claims

2017-05-23 21:48

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Durban – Allegations that students were being fraudulently enrolled at the UKZN’s medical school need to be investigated swiftly, the South African Medical Association said on Tuesday.

“We are extremely concerned about these allegations and call upon the Ministry of Education to investigate them quickly and effectively,” chairperson Dr Mzukisi Grootboom said in a statement.

“If any staff members are found to be complicit in these activities they must be dealt with decisively.”

The owners of popular Durban restaurant Little Gujarat have appeared in court on fraud charges following allegations that they were selling places to study at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s medical school.

Varsha Bhatt, 44, Hitesh Bhatt, 46, and co-accused Preshni Hiraman, 54, appeared in Pinetown Magistrate’s Court last week and were granted R40 000 bail each.

According to the Sunday Tribune, the three allegedly worked in cahoots with a syndicate at UKZN to fraudulently enrol students in the health science faculty and school of medicine.

Evidence was seized in raids of their Umhlanga and La Lucia homes as well as at their restaurant, the paper reported.

“The leadership of the university must be held accountable, and explain how such a scandalous situation could have occurred in the first place,” Grootboom said.

If the allegations were true, they would cause the institution severe embarrassment.

University principal Dr Albert van Jaarsveld said the institution’s forensic services unit was working with law enforcement agencies to identify those involved. He anticipated further arrests.

He encouraged anyone with knowledge of the matter to contact the university’s fraud hotline on 0800 20 32 85.

Read more on:    ukzn  |  durban  |  corruption  |  education

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