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Durban - A Durban professor and head of department at a state hospital was hauled before an inquiry following allegations of unprofessional conduct. 

The doctor faces a charge of unprofessional conduct towards his colleagues; in that he allegedly made derogatory comments about staff and patients during the period of 2011 and 2012.

The doctor, who is a specialist, is accused of calling his staff zoo animals and saying he is the zoo keeper, among other things.

He cannot be named until he pleads.

On Thursday the doctor appeared before the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) in Durban.

His attorney argued that the charges preferred against his client were unclear. 

He indicated that the HPCSA pro forma complainant had not properly responded to request for further particulars; in that the allegations levelled against his client did not have dates and particulars.

The are five doctors who have lodged the complaint and are set to testify if the matter goes ahead. 

However the pro forma argued to chairperson of the inquiry that this was purely a "delaying tactic".

He denied that there was duplication of charges as argued by the defence and said the HPCSA were not prepared to abandon any of the charges.

However the doctor's attorney said accusations levelled against his client were "serious" and can't be dealt with in a "wishy-washy matter."

The inquiry is yet to make a decision if the matter will proceed. 

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