Former President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Michele Spatari/Pool via AP
Former President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Michele Spatari/Pool via AP

Zuma’s sick note fails ethical standards of Health Professions Act

By MERVYN NAIDOO AND BONGANI HANS Time of article published Feb 9, 2020

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Cape Town - The sick note provided by former president Jacob Zuma’s medical doctor in support of him being too sick for court this week, did not meet the ethical standards laid down in the Health Professions Act.

This was confirmed by the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA), and the organisation provided three glaring flaws to substantiate their opinion.

The HPCSA is a statutory body which regulates the conduct and practice of doctors and health workers, including their education, training and registration to practice, in accordance with the Act.

Zuma was due to appear at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday, before Judge Dhaya Pillay.

The note was issued by Dr Zakes Kagiso Motene, who is attached to the 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria.

The Department of Defence refused to be drawn on the sick note saga.

Defence spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said his department was not in a position to comment on a matter that was before court.

“Let us leave the court to deliberate and reach its conclusion.

“Please allow that space for the court,” said Dlamini.

On receiving the note from Zuma’s legal team, Judge Pillay questioned its genuineness and was not satisfied that it justified his no-show.

Judge Pillay picked specifically on the alterations to the date on the document and that it bore no information that indicated the doctor’s certification.

She adjourned the matter, not before issuing a warrant for Zuma’s arrest, which was suspended until May 6, the day the former president is required to explain his illness in court.

Priscilla Sekhonyana, HPCSA’s spokesperson, said the certificate issued and referred to as SA Medical Health Service (SAMHS) Prescription and Duty Restriction Form did not meet some of the requirements of Ethical Rule 16 of the Act.

Sekhonyana highlighted that: “The practitioner’s (Motene) qualifications and registration number was not recorded.”

Zuma’s lawyer, Daniel Mantsha, expressed his dissatisfaction with Judge Pillay’s ruling after this week’s session in court.

He said his client underwent two surgical procedures on January 7 and 9, but could not travel to Cuba on January 23, as planned, for more medical attention because of slow recovery.

Zuma eventually travelled to Cuba on January 27.

Political Bureau

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