Cash-for-kidneys: 6 head to court

2012-05-27 20:53

Durban - The remaining six accused in the Netcare cash-for-kidneys trial go to court this week in a bid to have the case against them thrown out.

The six face charges of fraud, forgery, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and contravening the Human Tissues Act.

The charges relate to 109 illegal kidney transplants that took place at St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban between June 2001 and November 2003.

The lid on the scam, set up by Israeli organ broker Illan Perry, was lifted after one of the ­organ sellers lost his nerve and fled the hospital. He, 10 sellers and two runners were then arrested.

The latest move comes after ­attempts to strike a plea bargain between the six and the state fell through.

The other accused, ­including Netcare, have all struck deals and have been slapped with fines, avoiding jail time.

The six all argue that they were assured by Netcare management that the transplants were legal and all proper checks to prevent organ trading had been carried out.

They argue that Netcare, which paid a R7m admission-of-guilt fine after striking a plea bargain agreement with the prosecution, was responsible for all the ­vetting of donors and recipients, and had purposely misled them.

Surgeons John Robbs, Ariff Haffejee, Neil Christopher and Mahadev Naidoo, and former transplant unit staff Lindy Dickson and Melanie Azor also claim malicious and selective prosecution, arguing that doctors who carried out illegal transplants for Netcare in Johannesburg and Cape Town have not been prosecuted.

They also argue that the state has dragged out the case since 2004, when they were first arrested, and that the damage to their reputations and businesses is so extensive the case should be thrown out.

On 1 June the KwaZulu-Natal High Court will set a date for their application to be heard – likely in September or October.

The two applications are likely to be heard as one matter.

The State alleges that the ­transplant laws were contravened because both donors and recipients made false assertions that they were related and because ­donors were paid for their kidneys.

In 2010 Netcare KwaZulu-Natal pleaded guilty and paid a R4m fine and agreed to a R3.8m confiscation order.

Former ­nephrologist Jeff Kallmeyer, now living in Canada, admitted to 90 counts of contravening the act and paid a R150 000 admission-of-guilt fine while Hebrew interpreter Samuel Ziegler paid a fine of R50 000.

In court papers, Robbs said he and his colleagues could easily have paid an admission-of-guilt fine like Netcare and the other accused, but refused to do so because they were not guilty and wanted to defend their reputations.

Robbs added that the witness statements provided by the prosecution did not support the State’s claims that the six knew what was going on.

“The witnesses stated that they did not discuss relationship or money with the surgeons, and mostly added either that they had been warned not to disclose this to anyone, including us, or that they felt no need to disclose this.’’

“The entire transplant programme was arranged, implemented and managed by Netcare.

It was responsible for ensuring that all legislative requirements had been met and we, as outside surgeons, honestly believed, wrongly as it turned out, that all the consents had been obtained and all other requirements had been met.’’

Read more on:    netcare  |  durban  |  health
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

An uncomfortable election

The latter few weeks of election 2014, have seen South Africans reeling from an assault on their comfort zone when it comes to voting, writes Daniel Silke

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Note 16GB

GALAXY Note combines the market's largest HD Super AMOLED display,...

From R3899.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.