When Honest Men Feel Justified in Being Dishonest!

2017-05-31 15:41

A lot has recently been said, and written, regarding the “sale” of places at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s medical school.

It’s been alleged that a Durban-based family was working in conjunction with certain University officials and would, for a sizeable fee, arrange for one’s child to be accepted into the medical school.

The obvious question to be asked is: “Why is it so hard to be accepted into medical school?”

The answer’s very simple - there are usually some 7 000 to 8 000 applications for a mere 250 available places in the medical school’s first year intake.

However, one’s chances of being selected in that 250 vary greatly depending on one’s race because the 250 places are subject to prescribed racial quotas ie

- Black Africans 69% (172 applicants);

- Indians 19% (47 applicants);

- Coloureds 9% (23 applicants);

- Whites 2% (5 applicants), and

- Other 1% (3 applicants)

Because of these racial quotas, each racial group effectively needs a different average matric mark, from the other racial groups, in order to gain admittance to the medical school eg Indian applicants apparently need at least an average matric mark of 90,86%, whereas black African applicants need at least an average matric mark of 83,16%.

Therefore race, and not just (matric) academic achievement, affects one’s chances of being admitted to the medical school.

One must then ask the question: “Can this admission policy be justified ie. that the first-year intake of students must be based on racial demographics?” The answer to this, I suspect, may well depend on the race of the person being asked the question – black Africans may well see this as being justified/legitimate, whilst Indians and Whites may not.

Ask that question to anyone who resides outside of South Africa and I have little doubt that the person would say that such a policy cannot be justified!

Where I’m coming from is that if a person believes that something is immoral/unjust he/she can feel justified in not complying with the relevant rules/law and may even go further in finding ways/means to circumvent the system.

I’m not saying that this is correct/right to do, but it happens!

Look at the “e-Tolls saga” in Gauteng – it turned many law-abiding citizens into “technical” criminals!

The same can be said about the income tax system. I recall that in the days of Apartheid, there were many taxpayers who cheated on their tax, comforting themselves (and openly justifying it to others!) by saying that they “didn’t believe that the Government was using their tax for legitimate purposes” – whether they genuinely felt that was a moot point, but it certainly eased their consciences!

Whilst I’m certainly not advocating that people break the law, or engage in corrupt activity, I would warn our political leaders that as soon as laws/regulations are passed that are perceived as being immoral/unfair, increasing non-compliance amongst citizens WILL occur – and it will likely turn many honest men into dishonest men – you have been warned!

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