MEC’s olive branch to Blaylock backers

2008-05-21 00:00

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Peggy Nkonyeni is still to release the report of an inquiry she commissioned into allegations of racism made against the Manguzi doctor Mark Blaylock, who earlier threw her photograph into the bin.

However, by yesterday she had extended an olive branch to two organisations that have supported Blaylock and his colleague, Dr Colin Pfaff, who raised donor funding to buy the anti-retroviral drug AZT for pregnant women.

Members of the KZN government, including Nkonyeni, met yesterday with representatives of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and the Rural Doctors Association of South Africa (Rudasa). A joint statement said they met to try and iron out differences and miscommunication on issues surrounding the Manguzi doctors.

The statement said: “The provincial government appreciates the opening of lines of communication and reiterates its support of rural doctors and the good work they do under difficult conditions.”

It added that TAC and Rudasa agreed to be involved in further discussions on issues affecting their members and to work on a timetable that will set out a programme of action to enhance health care in the province.

According to reports at the time of the incident, it was a statement made by the Nkonyeni disparaging rural doctors as caring more about profit than patients that prompted Blaylock to throw the MEC’s photograph in the bin.

Nkonyeni went on to attack the doctor as a racist in her budget speech. She then set up a five-person task team to investigate allegations of racism made against Blaylock and Pfaff.

The team visited Manguzi and questioned staff as well as the doctors themselves.

The Aids Law Project (ALP) questioned the impartiality of the task team when it was appointed, saying it included an employee of the Health Department “who is alleged to have assisted the MEC in drafting her budget speech”.

The findings of the task team are expected to be released this week.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.