'Doctor shouldn't be treating Zuma'

Published Oct 21, 2009


The chairman of Parliament's sports portfolio committee, Butana Komphela, has vowed to ensure that Dr Harold Adams, the doctor for the South African team at the world athletics championships in Berlin, is removed as one of President Jacob Zuma's doctors.

Komphela made the threat after Athletics South Africa (ASA) appeared before the portfolio committee to explain its handling of the Caster Semenya sex-testing controversy.

Adams arranged the initial gender tests on Semenya and later cautioned the athletics body against letting Semenya race after obtaining results of the tests which allegedly showed that the 800m athlete had three times more testosterone than a normal female.

Adams, who is also the president of Boland Athletics, has now called on the ASA leadership to quit over its handling of the Semenya affair.

But Komphela slammed Adams's role in the saga, accusing him of having been responsible for leaking Semenya's test results to the media.

"Where is this Adams? He is the most dangerous person I've seen in my life, who divulges other people's information. We must go to the board where he is registered and raise this issue with them."

He told MPs he had it on good authority that Adams was one of Zuma's doctors and that he (Komphela) would guarantee that he was barred from treating the president.

"I have information that he is the president's doctor. But he will never be the president's doctor with that kind of behaviour. I can give you my 100 percent guarantee that this man will never be my president's doctor," said Komphela.

Presidential spokesman Vincent Magwenya said Adams was part of the surgeon-general's office as one of the doctors assigned by the SANDF to the president.

"I cannot respond to what ANC members of the committee may or may not have said in Parliament. Matters relating to the president's care are managed by the military, therefore he (Adams) is in the employ of the (defence force)," said Magwenya.

Adams could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile ANC members of the sports and recreation portfolio committee have demanded that the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) leadership, which is planning to visit South Africa next month, apologise to Semenya before they set foot on South African soil.

ANC MP Moses Dikgacwi called on IAAF president Lamine Diack to apologise to all South Africans for the manner in which his federation had handled the Semenya saga.

"ASA must tell the IAAF president that he is not welcome in this country unless he apologises," Dikgacwi said.

Komphela warned that "things will not be nice" for Diack if he came to South Africa without first apologising.

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