Health department confirms people being assaulted in video are SA medical students in Cuba



Published Nov 10, 2021


PRETORIA – The national department of health has confirmed that some of the people who appeared in a video clip circulating on social media platforms, are South African medical students based in Cuba.

In the short clip, the group of young people is seen being beaten up by people in what looks like police uniforms. A woman is also seen confronting the group of officers, while other people can be seen encouraging someone to record a video of the incident.

Spokesperson for the department of health, Foster Mohale said an investigation into the “unfortunate” incident is under way.

“The department, working closely with the department of international relations and co-operation, and other relevant authorities has initiated a process to investigate circumstances which led to this unfortunate incident. The findings of the investigation will be communicated to all the affected parties, including families of the students,” Mohale said.

Deputy minister of health, Sibongiseni Dhlomo has appealed to community members to avoid “sensationalising” the video.

“The deputy minister of health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, has appealed to members of the public to desist from sensationalising the video clip as it has potential to harm the families of the students and diplomatic relations between South African and Cuban governments,” Mohale said.

In recent years, the DA has said that the annual cost of training medical students under the Nelson Mandela/Fidel Castro Medical Collaboration Programme between South Africa and Cuba that started in 1997, is more than double what it would amount to at a local medical school.