Originally expected to run for a week from November 23 – 27, 2015, the hearing between Prof Tim Noakes and the HPCSA (Health Professions Council of SA) has been postponed until February 8, as a surprise witness was brought in by the HPCSA on Monday 30 November, day six of the trial.
This is the second time the trial is postponed. The first reason for postponement was that the professional conduct committee the HPCSA set up to take on Prof Noakes was not properly constituted in agreement with applicable regulations and the provisions of the Health Professions Act.
The latest reason is the last minute introduction of a new witness by the HPCSA. After poorly preparing their previous witnesses and revelations of underqualified testimonies, they have now called on Bioethicist Prof Willem Pienaar to testify.
Regulations require all findings by witnesses to be submitted seven days prior but this did not happen. Committee chairperson Joan Adams and the council agreed to allow Prof Pienaar to testify but postponed the trial.
A tweet from Prof Noakes in 2014, advising a mother to wean her baby onto LCHF foods instead of sugary cereals, is the reason for this trial as the HPCSA accused Noakes of unethical behaviour.
The tweet read: "Baby doesn't eat the dairy and cauliflower. Just very healthy high fat breast milk. Key is to wean [sic] baby on to LCHF."
The cost of the trial is expected to exceed R1million.