Murdered doctor 'can't be replaced'
Fanie van Rooyen, Beeld
Pretoria - Several of the country’s top doctors paid tribute to Dr John Moche, 41, on Thursday, saying his death in a hijacking last week was an enormous loss to the country.
“He had a relatively short, but extremely active and meaningful life. His commitment to the public health service set him apart," said Dr Ernest Kenoshi, executive head of the Steve Biko Academic hospital during the memorial service in Groenkloof.
“He was one of our brightest young stars.”
Edwin Bogopa, who spoke on behalf of the family, said to them Moche was not only a world-class dermatologist and an excellent doctor, but also an incredible person, brother, father and man.
“As it has been said in a poem: ‘It breaks our hearts to lose you but we know you are not alone, because a part of us goes with you,’” said Bogopa.
Kenoshi appointed Moche as head of his hospital’s dermatology unit in 2008 and then became friends with him.
“We struggled for four years to fill that top position. Moche came to our rescue and never disappointed us,” said Kenoshi.
He was on the phone with Moche for 45 minutes shortly before the hijacking.
Dr Robert Weiss, president of the dermatology association of South Africa said most people didn’t know how valuable Moche’s skills were.
“Someone like Moche cannot be replaced,” he said.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said no suspects had yet been arrested in connection with the hijacking and murder.