AfriForum assists applicant against Health Professions Council that rejects Afrikaans degree certificate

The civil rights organisation, AfriForum, is assisting a Psychology student with legal action against the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) to ensure that his application for registration is considered. The Council is currently refusing to complete the application, as his honours degree certificate is in Afrikaans.

The student, Du Toit Genis, is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Psychology. In order to complete his studies, he has to register with the board as an intern psychologist. As part of the requirements, he had to submit the certificate confirming that he obtained an honours degree at the University of Pretoria in 2018. A representative of the HPCSA then informed him by email that the registration process could not proceed, as the certificate is in Afrikaans. His appeal that his academic records, which he also submitted, were available in English, fell on deaf ears. The Council’s list of required documentation makes no mention of the language preference. It is also extremely discriminatory to refuse a degree certificate that is in one of the country’s official languages ​​and to expect a student to incur additional expenses to have it professionally translated. An urgent letter by his legal representative of Hurter Spies Incorporated to the HPCSA did not yield any results and a semi-urgent court application against the Council has now been submitted.

AfriForum was approached to assist Genis in the matter. According to Alana Bailey, AfriForum’s Head of Cultural Affairs, it is unacceptable that any student’s future is at stake because an official institution refuses to recognize one of the country’s official national languages. “This decision affects every student who has already obtained, or is about to obtain, a qualification at an Afrikaans-language institution, therefore strong action must be taken against this bureaucratic contempt and discrimination to which Mr. Genis is being subjected. We trust that the case will be settled soon, so that he may pursue his career and that other institutions can be deterred from violating applicants’ language rights in a similar manner,” Bailey said. Any other person experiencing similar discrimination is welcome to approach AfriForum at

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