Nemutandani requests documents from HPCSA regarding his alleged ‘recall’, failing which he will take a legal route

Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) president Simon Nemutandani wants to take the institution for judicial review. Picture: File

Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) president Simon Nemutandani wants to take the institution for judicial review. Picture: File

Published Jun 25, 2024


Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) president Simon Nemutandani wants to take the institution for judicial review after the Medical and Dental Professions Board (MDPB) allegedly recalled him.

On Sunday, Independent Media published an article saying that Nemutandani had allegedly been recalled from council by the MDPB after being accused of corruption, involving the misuse of the body’s credit card by dining in fine restaurants, ordering expensive food and also buying from fast food outlets.

The Star has seen a 375-page document outlining an investigation against Nemutandani.

He stands accused of claiming fees for attending meetings of council and other structures despite a directive by the Minister of Health that if employed by the public services, members of council and boards may not claim for doing work for the HPCSA, as it was a structure of the Health Department. The expert opinion in the matter of HPCSA vs Nemutandani was completed by Professor Gertie (HG) Pretorius.

However, Nemutandani allegedly refused to co-operate with those who are investigating him.

Responding to a query on Tuesday, HPCSA spokesperson Priscilla Sekhonyana said the institution was still waiting for a council meeting to take place.

“The resolution of the Medical and Dental Professions Board was communicated to Professor Simon Nemutandani. Upon receipt of the resolution from the MDB, Professor Nemutandani through his attorneys requested additional information,” said Sekhonyana.

A source has furnished The Star with a letter sent by Nemutandani through his attorney, saying it was wrong for the HPCSA’s MDB to “recall” him.

The letter from MacRobert Attorneys, sent to the HPCSA on June 24, states: “We write to advise that your letter of 21 June 2024 addressed Prof M S Nemutandani has been handed to us for our attention and reply. We thus confirm our instructions to act on behalf of Prof Nemutandani and should be grateful if you could address all further correspondence relating to this matter to us for the writer’s attention and reply, and not to Prof Nemutandani directly.

“We are presently investigating the legality and/or lawfulness of the Resolution of the Medical and Dental Professions Board, taken at its meeting on 20 June 2024 against Prof Nemutandani, and will in due course advise him as to the attitude to be adopted thereto.”

MacRobert Attorneys requested the following information and/or documentation from the HPCSA:

“1. The Agenda of the said meeting; 2. The attendance register of all the members that were present at the meeting, and when this issue/matter was discussed; 3. The audio recording of the minutes relating to the discussion that led to the resolution by the Board; 4. The adverse and grave accusations against our client in the media platform that you refer to in the aforesaid letter (we refer here to the specific media platform: name of specific platform, day and manner of publication); 5. The other structures of the HPCSA that will deal with the matter at the correct time and as they deem appropriate. Kindly name the specific structures you are referring to in this regard;

“6. The provision in the Health Professions Act 56 of 1974 and related statutes specifically empowering the Board to take a resolution to temporarily revoke the designation of a member of the Board and/or Council and to act in the manner in which it did; and; 7. The exact period of the revocation of our client’s designation to the Board and/or Council, as your letter merely refers to ‘a temporary revocation’.”

The law firm added: “Our preliminary assessment of the matter, based solely on the aforesaid correspondence addressed to our client, is that the Medical and Dental Professions Board acted ultra vires in dealing with a matter that falls entirely outside the ambit of the said Board.

“We are, therefore, instructed to demand, as we hereby do, that the Medical and Dental Professions Board set aside this unlawful Resolution within 48 hours of receipt of this letter, failing which we have instructions to proceed with legal action to restore the status quo.

“Further, we are instructed to demand that you furnish us with the information requested above within the aforesaid period (48 hours). We do, however, believe that such drastic steps will not be necessary in order to resolve this matter and hope to receive your kind co-operation in this regard.

“Lastly, we wish to record that our client does not, at this stage, intend to comment on the various allegations contained in your letter. He, however, reserves the right to do so at a letter stage should this be necessary. His failure to deal with such allegations at this stage should however not be regarded as an admission of the correctness thereof. In particular, we wish to place on record that our client does not admit any accusation made against him in any media platform. We look forward to hearing from you. Yours faithfully MacRobert INC Jerry Mayaba,” said the letter.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), which has been complaining about the alleged misconduct by Nemutandani, through spokesperson Lwazi Nkolonzi, said it was awaiting outcomes of the board meeting which has been convened for two days commencing on Friday.

“As Nehawu, we note the issue of Professor Nemutandani challenging his recall legally. We trust that the board will respond accordingly to the legal challenge,” said Nkolonzi.

The Star