students dumped by 'ACADEMY'

More than 30 students say they were dumped penniless in the street by a college manager in Wonderboom, Pretoria.

The boarders from various provinces say they were fleeced of between R4000 and R6000 each in fees after they registered to study as ambulance assistants at the Critical Care Academy.

Given Ngomane of Mpumalanga said classes were supposed to start on July 4 but the school opened only in August.

"We realised something was wrong on viewing the accommodation," he said.

The students were shocked to find they were supposed to use a gas cylinder stored in the toilets to cook food in an open space.

He said André van Rooyen, the school's chief executive, assaulted him when they confronted him.

Bastly Kekana of Limpopo said the students were hungry and tired.

"He must give us our money so we can go home," Kekana said.

She said Van Rooyen evicted them though he had not refunded the money they had paid.

"He came and switched off the water. How are we supposed to wash or cook without water?" she asked.

Ngomane said that students had also discovered the institution was not accredited with the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA).

Van Rooyen said the students had boycotted classes. Asked if the institution was accredited with the HPCSA Van Rooyen said "it is registered with a few other institutions".

He said he would provide further details in two weeks and put the phone down.

Bertha Peters-Scheepers of the HPSCA said it had withdrawn the institution's accreditation in April after an inspector found the school's facilities were below par.

The HPSCA said the college had failed to comply with the directive.

"They are operating illegally. We have forwarded the matter to our legal services," she said.

Peters-Scheepers said the HPCSA could not help the students get their money refunded. She warned students to check if an institution was registered before signing up with it.