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A fierce race row involving at least seven of Durban’s top medical doctors has taken a nasty turn.
This week Professor Anunanthan Reddi, who has been accused by six colleagues of racial abuse, fought back, dismissing the allegations as a conspiracy and slapping the six with a R2 million lawsuit.
Reddi is a University of KZN professor and the head of the cardiothoracic department at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital.
New developments in the case also include the emergence of graphic examples of the racist epithets allegedly mouthed by Reddi, as well as the identity of the six doctors who have complained about him.
The six are Gerard Roderick Alexander, Surendra Naidoo, Noel Julian Buckles, Direndra Rajaruthnam, Kaven Naicker and Ebrahim Mansoor.
According to the doctors, Reddi:
- Referred to a black doctor as a “k*****” and a “pekkie ou”.
- Claimed black people had a low cognitive ability and lacked sophistication.
- Said that black people required 500 years to evolve and were not ready to take up senior positions.
- Referred to Muslims as “slum ous”.
- Inferred that Indians had a “coolie mentality”.
- Said that Indians had not evolved from the “canefields” and that their only development was that their sickles had been replaced by stethoscopes.
- Referred to one doctor who he believed was “brown-nosing” to gain favour as an “academic Rajbansi”.
- Blasphemed and made derogatory statements about the Islamic faith.
- Used sexual innuendo when speaking to staff members.
- Told a doctor he “smells” and asked the same doctor how his wife tolerated him.
- Referred to one doctor as a “turd in a p***pot”.
- Often used vulgar language when addressing them.
- Ridiculed the six in front of junior members of staff.
The doctors also say that during Reddi’s moments of “badgering”, he described them as “animals in a zoo” and referred to himself as the “zookeeper”.
However, Reddi has denied all of the allegations, which he said were the product of a conspiracy.
In court papers served on his detractors, Reddi rejected claims that he had constantly verbally abused them – and he wants his accusers to pay him just over R2 million in damages.
Speaking on behalf of Reddi, attorney Jay Reddy said: “Our client firmly believes the accusations made against him are baseless, vexatious and spurious in nature.”
“It is all part of a plan to unseat him (Reddi) from the position he holds. We’re suing for the damages,” Reddy said. - Sunday Tribune