One of the four surgeons involved in an international cash-for-kidneys scandal has died while on holiday with his family, the SABC news reported on Friday.
Mahadev Naidoo died while on holiday in the Seychelles. His funeral service was expected to take place at Clare Estate in Durban on Friday.
Naidoo and three other doctors were charged with fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and contravention of the Human Tissue Act for allegedly performing illegal transplant operations at Netcare's St Augustine's Hospital in Durban. The State withdrew the charges after a lengthy court battle.
The charges were withdrawn in the Durban High Court in December last year after the judge found the surgeons had their right to a fair trial infringed after a seven-and-a-half-year delay in bringing the matter to trial.
The surgeons brought an application in December 2011 in which they claimed they did not know that wealthy Israelis had paid poor Brazilians for their kidneys.
City Press reported in September 2012 that the kidneys were allegedly harvested between 2001 and 2003 without performing proper medical and psychological tests.
An internal audit of the overseas transplant programme showed only 10 of 104 foreign donors in Durban had medical evaluation reports. Only two donors had psychological evaluation reports.
The surgeons, John Robbs, Ariff Haffejee, Neil Christopher, and Naidoo claimed malicious and selective prosecution.
They said doctors who performed illegal transplants for the Netcare hospital group in Cape Town and Johannesburg had not been charged.
Former transplant unit staffers Lindy Dickson and Melanie Azor made the same claims in a separate application, City Press reported.
Netcare paid a R7 million fine for admitting its guilt in the scam, which sold kidneys to wealthy Israeli patients. - Sapa