Today's Labour News

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sandu1TimesLIVE reports that the SA National Defence Union (Sandu) on Tuesday offered a different version to that of military top brass as to why 35 soldiers studying medicine in Cuba could not continue with their studies abroad.  

The defence force earlier this month announced that it had suspended 35 soldiers after they went AWOL (absent without leave) in Cuba for more than a month while studying in the Caribbean nation.  However, Sandu’s Pickle Greeff said that media reports claiming that the students, who are represented by the union, returned to SA because they went on a mutiny were untrue.  The union has demanded that the SANDF should reinstate the students by Wednesday, failing which it would face legal action.  Greeff said the students were contracted by the SANDF to join as soldiers and to study for medical degrees to become doctors.  For that purpose, they were posted to Cuba, but after studying at the university in Cuba and finishing a semester, they were then moved to a different institution.  Greeff said the students started asking questions because they were not registered as medical students and the institution in Cuba where they were studying was not accredited.  He said the students were told that if they were not satisfied with the situation, they could get on a plane back to SA and be regarded as dismissed.  “In the end, it simply boils down to requiring someone to study medicine in circumstances that are clearly unlawful and in breach of their employment contracts," Greeff pointed out.

  • Read the full original of Ernest Mabuza’s report on the above at TimesLIVE

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