"Cape Town - Professor Tim Noakes will know early next year whether or not he’ll lose his licence to practice as a doctor.
The hearing into his professional conduct by the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) was postponed on Monday.
The inquiry came to an abrupt end after his lawyers said they were not ready to cross-examine a “surprise witness” called by the HPCSA.
Prof. Willem Pienaar, a bioethicist at Stellenbosch University, was brought in at the eleventh hour as a fourth expert witness to testify whether it was ethical for Noakes to give dietary advice on social media to a breast-feeding mother.
Noakes is facing a charge of unprofessional conduct after he advised the mother of a young baby on Twitter to wean her child on a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet (LCHF). When the mother, Pippa Leenstra asked Noakes on Twitter last year what foods to wean her baby on, the UCT emeritus professor responded: “Baby doesn’t eat the dairy and cauliflower. Just very healthy high-fat breast milk. Key is to ween (sic) into a LCHF.”
The response prompted the then-president of the Association of Dietetics SA, Claire Julsing-Strydom, to lodge a complaint with the HPCSA.
On Monday the inquiry, which was scheduled to end on Tuesday, got off to a rocky start after pro forma complainant advocate Meshak Mapolisa indicated he would be calling Pienaar as an expert witness to testify whether or not it was ethical for Noakes to give such dietary advice to a breast-feeding mother on social media.
Just two hours into proceedings, there was an adjournment for the committee hearing the matter to decide whether or not to allow Pienaar to estify.
Noakes’s legal team objected to a new witness being called, saying that such a move would not only delay the case, but would prejudice Noakes who had “a cloud hanging over him” since the HPCSA charged him in February. Mapolisa told the committee he wanted to introduce Pienaar after the qualifications of Professor Salomé Kruger as an ethicist were questioned by the defence during cross-examination last week.
Kruger is one of three expert witnesses that had already questioned Noakes’s advice, saying it was “inappropriate”.
Mapolisa said Pienaar’s testimony would “close the gap”.
But Noakes’s advocate, Michael van der Nest objected, arguing that Mapolisa introduced the “surprise” witness very late on Friday afternoon – after 5pm – giving the defence no time to prepare for cross-examination.
He said Mapolisa also breached the regulations of the HPCSA, which required supplementary documents on witnesses to be submitted at least seven days before the hearing.
The committee’s chairwoman Joan Adams later ruled in favour of Mapolisa, but Van der Nest indicated that the defence was not ready to cross-examine and would need time to prepare.
On Monday, the inquiry also heard from Nkagiseng Madube, HPCSA’s legal officer, who testified as a procedural witness.
Madube explained the procedure followed by HPCSA from the day a complaint is laid throught to the preliminary inquiry.
Madube also faced tough questions from Van der Nest.
He asked Madube why Noakes wouldn’t be allowed to see and respond to the expert opinion written by Professor Esté Vorster and information used to charge him. Madube said such information was for the eyes of the committee only.
He wouldn’t explain why such information was kept secret, saying only that the regulations allowed it, and it was designed to speed up the process and limit costs."
More on this story here.Those following the case have witnessed a complete travesty of justice. The case against Tim is so flimsy it beggars belief (he recommended to a mother weaning a child to eat whole fresh real food) Those bringing the case against Tim are clearly amateurish beyond description, as evidenced in the farce over the six days of the hearing so far.
This lunacy was started by South African dietitian Claire Strydom (who has been paid by Kellogg's) was "horrified" by Tim's advice and reported him to the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) As we have seen so many times, so many dietary organisations around the world, have taken money and favours from junk food. Clearly junk food is losing big money, because of the low carb real food revolution, and clearly junk food is calling in the favours. Prof.Tim Noakes is a world renowned scientist with the highest rating possible to attain of A1.
To be continued.
He's going dahn!
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