Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. File photo: Masi Losi

Johannesburg - An Eastern Cape medical student who was expelled from an exchange programme between South Africa and Cuba has been given a second chance, the Dispatch Online reported on Wednesday.

Lindani Magade was among 12 medical students expelled from the programme over strike action earlier this year.

The students returned to South Africa in February after demanding better meals and a 300-percent increase in their R1 600 monthly stipend.

Last week, one of two expelled KwaZulu-Natal medical students was also given a second chance.

According to the Dispatch Online, Eastern Cape Health MEC Sicelo Gqobana has said there will be no change to the stipend, and that the students are expected to behave themselves when they return.

Gqobana said Magade had been mistaken for a KwaZulu-Natal student who was at the forefront of the strike.

This was realised after Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi had a one-on-one meeting with the students.

“After the students returned from Cuba, we were instructed not to communicate with them because they embarrassed the country,” Gqobana was quoted as saying.

“However, the minister had a meeting with one of the students from Limpopo and after that he decided to have meetings individually with all of them to hear their stories.”

Motsoaledi reportedly negotiated with Cuban officials to allow some of the expelled students back. - Sapa