Killing of Pretoria doctor bemoaned

2012-01-30 19:20

Johannesburg - The killing of a Pretoria-based dermatologist at the weekend was widely bemoaned on Monday.

The Dermatology Society of SA said the murder of Dr John Moche, 41, in a hijacking, was a huge blow to the medicine industry.

"His untimely death cuts off a great future and will be recorded as another tragic loss for South Africa," said the society's president Robert Weiss.

The SA Medical Association (Sama) and the National Education, Health, and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) also expressed shock at Moche's death.

Moche, a dermatologist at Steve Biko Academic Hospital, was shot and killed by hijackers on Friday night.

According to weekend reports, two armed men approached Moche who was sitting in his car outside a townhouse complex in Viljoen Street, Pretoria.

Country in need of specialist doctors

One of the men shot him in the chest. They fled with his Range Rover. It was found abandoned in Atteridgeville.

Sama chairperson Dr Norman Mabasa said: "The killing of Dr John Moche... is yet another sign that as South Africans we still remain held hostage by criminals. This time the criminals have hit where it hurts most, robbing us of our own and robbing the country of a scarce skill."

Nehawu said Moche's death was a great loss, particularly at a time when the country was in desperate need of specialist doctors.

This was echoed by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) which said crime was holding an already burdened health sector to ransom.

"This incident underlines that government needs to act swiftly in the fight against crime as it has once more robbed not only the medical fraternity but the entire country", Denosa general secretary Thembeka Gwagwa said.

The Gauteng health department said it was shocked by the murder. Health MEC Ntombi Mekgwe and department head Nomonde Xundu sent their condolences to Moche's family.

Moche was the author and co-author of several papers and was involved in teaching.

- SAPA

Read more on:    nehawu  |  denosa  |  sama
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