A ‘racially-charged’ photobomb of a Witwatersrand Medical School Class of 2017 photo has had social media abuzz.
A group of about 20 students reportedly photobombed the class photo holding posters and a banner that read: ‘Wits Med School is racist’.
Final-year student and student representative, Mtwakazi Bula, explained that the demonstration was triggered by allegations by some students that the university took a decision to pass a white student who had failed a compulsory six-week course in July but failed almost 30 black students who had also failed the course.
The university’s spokesperson, Shirona Patel said the racial claims were false and inaccurate.
“All the students, regardless of race, were treated to the same assessment process,” she added.
“What happened was that her mark [white student] was incorrectly entered into the system and thus reflected the incorrect final mark. This has since been resolved.”
The dean of the university’s health sciences faculty, Prof. Martin Veller reiterated that “the issue was picked up during the remediation process and when the correct mark was entered, it was evident that the student had clearly met all the requirements to pass the component.”
Patel said many students were making these allegations but had no evidence to prove their claims. “The students who failed the course will be allowed to come back next year to redo it and can still finish in time for graduation,” she said.
There have been concerns about the student in question being a victim of harassment. The university has stressed that the student was not at fault and should not be harassed.