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Pretoria - An application for the dismissal of a case against a Pretoria doctor, accused of having sexual relations with a patient and therefore conducting himself unethically, was denied by his professional body on Wednesday, which instead postponed the case to January.
Dr Tafi Molapo’s legal defence Kabelo Mokale asked that the case be removed from the roll of the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) because there had been too many postponements since a hearing was convened at the beginning of this year.
He said: “It has been dragging on for too long, and this is not fair on my client.”
He said the witness, who failed to attend on Wednesday’s session, was to blame for delaying progress on the case, and this affected his client.
Molapo has been accused of unprofessional conduct for having sexual relations with a patient on or around July 2010.
The matter was reported to the HPCSA, and after an investigation, he faced charges including that he acted in a manner not in accordance with the ethical rules of his profession.
Molapo has also been accused of being unethical in that he engaged in a sexual relationship with a patient and/or engaged in a relationship that went beyond the doctor-patient relationship.
A committee sat to hear the case in May, but it was postponed.
Pro forma complainant Nkhensani Mathebula said the matter was then set down for September, but due to problems with the witnesses’ number and the doctor’s legal representation, the committee did not sit.
“We had a pre-trial conference and both witness and defendant were there,” she said, adding that what followed were issues around Molapo’s legal representation.
Mokale admitted on Wednesday that he was new on the case and had only received instruction on the matter on Tuesday.
He also told the committee that he would not have been able to proceed with the case because he had not had enough time to familiarise himself with it.
He asked that it be dismissed, to save all involved the trouble of coming back time and again for something that had no progress.
The witness was unable to attend on Wednesday’s hearing because he had mixed up the dates, Mathebula explained, and she applied for a postponement to allow him to attend the next hearing.
The committee eventually agreed to the postponement, on the grounds that the case was a serious one, which required fair and legal attention.
It was postponed to January 29, and both pro forma and defence parties were warned to make arrangements to ensure that it went on without hitches.