A SOUTHERN suburbs doctor charged with abusing a patient and enriching himself after he allegedly stole an elderly woman’s life savings is expected to appear at an inquiry today.
Johann van Rooyen, practising in Plumstead, is alleged to have abused Marjorie Pelton, his then patient of 30 years, for his own financial gain.
Pelton died in 2012 after suffering from a brain tumour and was senile at the time Van Rooyen treated her, Pelton’s daughter, Cheryl Bluffs, said yesterday.
Bluffs accused Van Rooyen of accompanying her mother, then 80, to the bank several times and writing checks for various amounts, which Van Rooyen made her sign.
In total, Van Rooyen is alleged to have stolen R490 000 from Pelton’s account between 2007 and 2009.
The matter was reported to the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), and the council decided to hold an inquiry this year.
HPCSA spokesperson Fezile Sifunda said: “Johann van Rooyen will be appearing in front of an inquiry (today), and he is facing charges of abuse of a patient and enriching himself.
“He will appear in front of the Professional Conduct Committee, which has the powers to impose a fine or suspend a practitioner from practising.”
Van Rooyen was dismissive of questions yesterday, saying the allegations were “stupid, hearsay and junk”.
He said all questions should be directed to his lawyers, but he did not want to say who was representing him.
“I don’t want to speak out of turn, they are investigating and dealing with it. My lawyers are protecting me from this stupidity, I can’t say anything,” Van Rooyen said.
When it was put to him that he is expected to appear today, Van Rooyen said he did not want to answer.
“This is all hearsay and junk,” he said. Bluff said yesterday she hoped for justice.
“This matter stretches over years and we were surprised to hear that the HPCSA has finally decided to hold and inquiry.
“We laid a criminal charge at the Wynberg police station, but my mother did not have the mental capacity to testify in court.”
Bluff alleges that Van Rooyen took advantage of her mother. He had been her doctor for 30 years and she trusted him.
“We found that at least 23 of the cheques written to the bank were in his (Van Rooyen’s) handwriting.
“No money was left for any family member. My mother died penniless,” Bluff alleged yesterday.
Pelton had three children and six grandchildren, and Bluff said she would be at the inquiry today.