Johannesburg - Legal woes are piling up for controversial paediatric surgeon Professor Peter Beale who is accused of murdering a 10-year-old patient during routine surgery.
Beale and anaesthetist Dr Abdulhay Munshi were charged with culpable homicide after Zayyaan Sayed, 10, died following a routine laparoscopic operation at Johannesburg’s Park Lane Hospital in October 2019.
The operation was expected to last an hour and a half but took almost four.
Zayyaan’s lung collapsed soon after surgery. He was taken to the intensive care unit, but died. Netcare, under which Park Lane falls, later suspended the two doctors and the Health Professions Council of South Africa investigated the case.
A few years earlier, Mediclinic had suspended Beale from practising at their hospitals.
The two were later arrested and charged with culpable homicide. More than 42 000 people have signed a petition for authorities to drop the criminal case against Beale and Munshi.
On Wednesday, the the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) made changes to the charges against Beale, changing culpable homicide to murder.
Beale faces the music alone as his co accused, Munshi, was shot and killed in September last year.
Munshi was shot six times in the back of the head after a vehicle rammed into the rear of his car while he was driving around Orange Grove.
Beale appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, now on charges of fraud and murder and the trial is expected to start on February 19 at the South Gauteng High Court.