News24

Cash-for-kidney docs want case dismissed

2011-12-06 11:25

Durban - Lawyers for the four medical specialists implicated in the “cash for kidney” scandal on Monday filed papers in the Durban’s Commercial Crimes Court to have charges against them dismissed.

Former St Augustine’s hospital employees who were implicated along with the doctors filed similar papers.

Prosecutor Advocate Robert Palmer said the matter was postponed to the end of February 2012 when the State will be expected to respond to the documents the legal teams of both parties have filed in court.

“It will be brought into court for argument and then thereafter the State will decide whether to prosecute or not,” said Palmer.

It has been reported that professors John Robbs and Ariff Haffejee and doctors Neil Christopher and Mahadev Naidoo - along with former St Augustine’s hospital transplant unit employees Malanie Azor and Lindy Dickson - are accused of performing 90 illegal transplant operations at the hospital about eight years ago.

Case 'flimsy'

They are facing charges of fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and contravening the Human Tissue Act.

The doctors’ attorney, Altus van Rensburg, reportedly told a Durban newspaper that his clients are not just known in the country, but around the world.

He reportedly said estimates are that the trial might drag for about a year or two. This means that the accused will be removed from their practices until the finalisation of the trial, which Van Rensburg said was not fair as the case is flimsy.

The scandal has made headlines both locally and internationally after it was discovered that Brazilians allegedly sold their organs for transplants for wealthy Israelis at Netcare St Augustine’s hospital.

Netcare was fined R7.8m in 2010 after pleading guilty to illegally acquiring and transplanting human kidneys at the hospital.

Comments
  • Maai - 2011-12-06 11:31

    Have a heart...

      paulmandlankosi - 2011-12-06 11:39

      and no brains

      Marion - 2011-12-06 11:41

      It wasn't hearts, it was kidneys. Unfortunately for Jackie, they were caught before his possible kidney transplant. I wait with bated breath to see whether the charges are dropped.

      Maai - 2011-12-06 11:43

      @Marion Ummm I can read. Obviously went over your head.

      Marion - 2011-12-06 16:05

      @Maai... it obviously did... :-)

  • Cuthbert - 2011-12-06 11:42

    "case is flimsy" when their employer pleaded guilty.Lawyers think they are clever enough to fool everyone....NO.

      clivecorbz - 2011-12-06 12:52

      The surgeons were just doing the surgeries they were told to perform. I don't think they're obliged to do a full background check on every patient. That's for the hospital to do. Hence Netcare pleaded guilty. As for the surgeons, it sounds like the scheme had all the paper work in place to make it seem like any other surgery on any other day. So yes, the case is flimsy.

      MissGremlin - 2011-12-06 13:47

      @ Clive. Perhaps, but when YOUR theatre is running at 20 times the national average for donor organ transplants, something is fishy. Even a chimp could do the math.

      Dave - 2011-12-06 14:09

      Not true, this is a private hospital, the Doctors are contracted in to the hospital to utilise their facilities, they are not employees of the hospital. The patients are the doctors patients, not the hospital's

      clivecorbz - 2011-12-06 15:27

      @MissGremlinSays I do not own a hospital. However, if I were to be a world renowned transplant surgeon, I wouldn't be surprised that my facility was doing 20 times more than the national average when most hospitals in this country aren't capable of handing out medication let alone performing a kidney transplant.

  • nadia.chotu - 2011-12-06 12:06

    omg? Really.... dismiss the case because it it will take too long? And their Attorney supported this !!!! Bawaaaaahhahhahhaha!!!! What a joke... from "supposedly" educated people too.!!!

      clivecorbz - 2011-12-06 12:32

      * from supposedly "educated" people too!

  • Morokoma - 2011-12-06 12:21

    Bathong! They did not steal them, they bought them with mutual concern! Is there any criminal activity on that?

      Kopraal SilverStar Mohloli - 2011-12-06 13:06

      Sex with a minor is still rape, consent or not....just like paying 4 body parts that were bought frm desperate ppl...i actually thnk the Human Tissue Act prohibits organ trading (i stand to be corrected)

      RobertaKeeling - 2011-12-06 13:09

      Go read the Human Tissue Act before you make silly uneducated comments.

      Marion - 2011-12-06 16:09

      @Morokoma... what happens when those poor Brazilians who were tricked into selling their kidneys need kidney transplants themselves in future? If it was all above board why didn't the wealthy Israelis have the transplants in their own country?

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