Bad blood: UCT medschool prof suffers indignity of unfair dismissal

Bad blood: UCT medschool prof suffers indignity of unfair dismissal

De Groot vs UCT: Arbitrator finds that UCT’s thoracic surgery professor's unfair dismissal was probably engineered by senior colleagues in response to a letter he wrote to the head of the department criticising the poor level of training they offered.

Advocate J le F Pienaar was appointed by the Public Health and Social Development Bargaining Council to arbitrate in the dispute between Professor Mark de Groot and the Western Cape Department of Health, officially his employer while a member of UCT’s medical faculty based at Groote Schuur Hospital.

What follows is an extract from the arbitrator’s summary of the shocking evidence upon which he based his conclusions...

 

Incompetent PE heart surgeons: the sorry saga continues

Incompetent PE heart surgeons: the sorry saga continues

The Health Professions Council refuses to be specific about how it is dealing with fraudulently registered or incompetent doctors and medical specialists on the grounds that the matter is “too sensitive” and “sub judice”.

This follows a Noseweek report (nose170) on two Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital heart surgeons (one of them a UCT graduate) who for the past 10 years have been accused by their seniors of endangering patients’ lives because of their alleged incompetence. They are still at work as a year-old formal complaint awaits a hearing – with no indication when that might be.

The authorities’ reluctance to act has raised serious concerns about the training and competence of doctors who have been allowed to enter the profession in South Africa over the past decade.

 

 

 

Update: Nasty Neighbours 1 – Wisedale denied leave to appeal

Update: Nasty Neighbours 1 – Wisedale denied leave to appeal

The man whose midnight wails frightened the neighbours and who became known as the ‘Monster’ of Haraldene Road, has his “day in court”:  Press Council Appeal Judge assesses the evidence led at a Press Ombudsman hearing of Wisedale’s complaint against Noseweek and finds that, barring two minor errors, it was substantially correct and justified.  The judge refused Wisedale’s request for leave to appeal as he said it had no reasonable prospect of success.

Last year, mountaineer and motivational speaker Sean Wisedale lodged a complaint about Noseweek with the Press Ombudsman, following reports in the April edition that Wisedale had terrorised his entire neighbourhood with aggressive behaviour.

In a story headlined “Another top sportsman loses it”, Noseweek related how Wisedale alienated neighbours in Haraldene Road in the Durban suburb of Glenwood by periodically hurling threats and abuse – and even the occasional rock and wine bottle – from behind his high walls and locked gate, in the midnight hours – as well as making threatening throat-slitting gestures to children when passing them in the street. He denied the rock throwing and threats to children.
 


Update: Nasty Neighbours 2 – Masekela moves in where Braude moves out

Update: Nasty Neighbours 2 – Masekela moves in where Braude moves out

In mid-January Michael Young, senior partner at Fairbridges attorneys Johannesburg branch, and trustee resident  of  posh Glenhof Gardens in Riviera, threw caution to the wind and wrote to lawyers representing his nemesis in the neighbour wars, Claudia Braude. He demanded to see documentary proof she had sold her apartment in the building “as your client unfortunately is economical with the truth and whatever she says cannot be relied upon.”

In this case, the incredible is true: world famous jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela IS moving in, with trumpet and grand piano!

Nasty Neighbours 3: Dr Feelgood vs his Sea Point neighbours

Nasty Neighbours 3: Dr Feelgood vs his Sea Point neighbours

Dr Feelgood plunges from Hollywood scandal to Cape Town strife: bricks and brickbats fly as the highlife GP now does battle with his Sea Point neighbours. By Helen Grange

Twelve years ago Dr Jules Lusman was living the high life in Santa Monica in California, driving to the mansions of his famous patients – among them Winona Ryder, Courtney Love, Ozzy Ozborne and the late Anthony Quinn. He was at their disposal anywhere, anytime, to administer painkillers in the convenience of their homes, and would occasionally be invited to their glamorous parties.

Then, in 2003, he hit US headlines for over-prescribing narcotic painkillers. Stripped of his licence to practice in America, the GP, then known as “Dr Feelgood”, returned penniless to South Africa and after a few years, set up a medical practice in Sea Point, Cape Town. But the good Dr Lusman, now 61, apparently has an unerring nose for controversy wherever he goes: Now it’s open warfare with the other apartment owners in sedate Alphen House on the beachfront …

There’s also a most unexpected development on the Glenhof Gardens front in Riviera …

Dodgy Educor fails learners

Dodgy Educor fails learners

After a nightmare year of bungling and maladministration, it turns out that Educor-owned Damelin and Intec’s private matriculation courses are not accredited by the national education authorities.

Nicole Garbet hoped to enter university in 2014, but there were no celebrations for this student when the matric results were released. Instead, December 2013 concluded a nightmare school year for Garbet.

The upshot is that she doesn’t have a matric certificate, because of administrative bungling, missing grades and disputes about marks.

Motorsport SA hits the dust

Motorsport SA hits the dust

Top motorcycle importers shun superbike racing as SA organisers dither over controls.

MSA’s latest crisis involves national championship superbike and supersport racing – usually crowd-drawers. The motorcycles are basically production machines – 1000cc in the superbike class and 600cc in the supersport. The bikes are pretty quick straight out of the box, with top speeds of around 300 km/h and 260 km/h respectively, but as new models are launched by manufacturers the balance of power shifts. Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha have all had periods when they were leaders in the class, and BMW has been a significant player since their first true superbike arrived three or four years ago, winning, along with  Kawasaki, most events in the bigger class. MSA, in an attempt to lure Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki back into investing in superbike racing, has for some years adopted a strategy of allowing increasingly more modifications to the machines. It’s now reached the point that a 1000cc motorcycle costing, say, R170,000, needs almost that amount again spent to carry out the modifications necessary for it to keep up with the pack.

Prang bang Santam harangue

Prang bang Santam harangue

Insurers provide contradictory advice on accident claim for a common enough scenario: the car behind focuses on oncoming traffic, sees a gap and takes off on the assumption that the car immediately in front will do the same. It doesn’t. Bang!

The morning of 2 December, 2013 started uneventfully for two Cape Town motorists; Peter Greeves, driving to work in his white Polo Vivo and Marinda Julina Froneman, travelling behind him in her silver Nissan, but then, as both cars reached an intersection, Froneman’s car rammed the Polo.

Santam repudiated the claim as Froneman’s statement to them was that the Polo had actually reversed into her car.

Noseweek reviewed the documents, and could find no mention in Froneman’s, Greeves’s or Constable Mulauli’s statements of the Polo having reversed or rolled back into her Nissan. The topographic imagery of the area indicates there was no way the Polo could have rolled back into the Nissan, unless it had magically rolled uphill.

As Noseweek went to press, Santam changed their minds and decided to pay for Greeves's repair costs. Smiles all around.

NOTES: Washington Post boss does business with CIA

NOTES: Washington Post boss does business with CIA

By mid-January more than 25,000 people had signed an online petition sponsored by US civil rights campaign group RootsAction, calling on the Washington Post to “be honest about a big conflict of interest.”

The newspaper's new billionaire owner Jeff Bezos is also the founder and CEO of Amazon, which recently landed a $600m (R6.5bn) contract with the CIA. The Post often reports on CIA activities. The RootsAction petitioners want the newspaper to include in future full disclosure that the owner of the Washington Post is also the main owner of Amazon which is now gaining huge profits directly from the CIA.

A basic principle of journalism is to acknowledge when the owner of a media outlet has a major financial relationship with the subject of coverage.

UPDATE: Domestic Violence orders - Lionel fights a good fight, and keeps winning

UPDATE: Domestic Violence orders - Lionel fights a good fight, and keeps winning

In June 2012 Noseweek reported how, at the instigation of his angry ex-wife, various policemen (and women) with a deficient knowledge of the law had arrested and detained Johannesburg businessman Lionel Greenberg – unlawfully – no fewer than seven times over a seven-year period.

(The trick was to get him arrested on a Friday afternoon, so that he could only get help and negotiate his release come Monday morning. On one such occasion he barely managed to secure his release on a Saturday in time to attend his son’s Bar Mitzvah.)

Did he collapse in a heap under the weight of all of this? No. He sued the police for wrongful arrest and has so won five cases, with another three in the pipeline.

NOTES: MTN free-for-all against the law

NOTES: MTN free-for-all against the law

Rica* is the act that makes it compulsory for everyone in South Africa to register their cellphone number. It is one of the government’s key crime prevention initiatives towards making South Africa a better place. Well, so declares MTN in a prominent notice on its website. But Noseweek has for months been observing MTN agents in Cape Town encouraging hundreds of people to contravene the RICA law in what seems to be a detemined move to ramp up its subscriber base.

The story starts at Cape Town’s Refugee Reception Centre where, every morning, scores of asylum seekers queue to present their applications to the Department of Home Affairs. Also there each morning since mid-2013 have been a clutch of MTN agents ready to welcome the refugees with loads of free, ready-RICA-ed MTN SIM Cards – no questions asked, no forms to fill in.

UPDATE: More cheating at Murray & Roberts

UPDATE: More cheating at Murray & Roberts

In December Noseweek revealed that the Competition Commission has found a new angle to pursue on the colluding road-construction industry (Editorial nose170). Now they are out to nail the two main suppliers of asphalt to the Western Cape government and the road-building industry – Much Asphalt (a wholly-owned subsidiary of construction giant Murray & Roberts) and its younger upstart competitor, More Asphalt.

Much and More are alleged to have been operating a secret cartel since 1995, when a year-long price war ended inconclusively with both making losses, but neither conceding defeat.

Noseweek has since learned that the scheme was initiated by – no surprise – the directors of Murray & Roberts.

Construction collusion: still no prosecutions

Construction collusion: still no prosecutions

Why are we waiting ... and ... waiting ...?

What dirt might the major construction companies, that rigged tenders to defraud the public purse of billions, have on the government and its agencies? Dirt that makes the latter so reluctant to prosecute company executives for crimes that could see them in jail for years?

Ever since June 2013, when the Competition Commission nailed the companies for R1.4 billion in penalties for illegal, anti-competitive behaviour, the government and agencies such as Sanral (see Editorial in nose171) have been big on talk and very, very small on performance when it comes to criminally prosecuting the fraudsters.

Latest reports on Zimbabwe and DRC from Africa Confidential

Latest reports on Zimbabwe and DRC from Africa Confidential

Deals that trade mining concessions for arms from Russia and China were arranged privately during the period of the coalition government by Zanu-PF leaders, who kept them from their partners in government, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDF).

Kinshasa awoke on 29 December to the sound of gunfire. It was a classic attack, in the manner of so many past African coups d’état, on the three keystones of power: the headquarters of the Radio-télévision Nationale Congolaise, Ndjili International Airport and the Colonel Tshatshi army base. By midday, President Joseph Kabila’s elite Republican Guard had restored control. Dangerous tensions remain.

Afrocynicism. Do you trust your government?

Afrocynicism. Do you trust your government?

Afrocynicism is swelling. The government’s failure to act against crooked public servants has made South Africa one of the most cynical nations on the continent, according to a new opinion survey.

In 2005, the year our then-deputy president, Jacob Zuma, was fired for corruption, one third of South Africans polled by the Afrobarometer research network believed government officials were unlikely to be brought to book for their crimes.

By last year that figure had risen to well over half, the steepest increase among Africa’s top 22 mining countries, according to the researchers’ latest opinion survey.

Behind the mask: UCT medschool providing exceptionally poor training for cardio-thoracic surgeons, says prof.

Behind the mask: UCT medschool providing exceptionally poor training for cardio-thoracic surgeons, says prof.

Behind the mask: in a "private and confidential" letter, leading surgeon accuses "malicious, self-serving" UCT medical profs of providing poor training for their heart and lung surgeon-graduates Arbitrator finds that senior medical school professors at ...
 
Bad blood: UCT medschool prof suffers indignity of unfair dismissal

Bad blood: UCT medschool prof suffers indignity of unfair dismissal

De Groot vs UCT: Arbitrator finds that UCT’s thoracic surgery professor's unfair dismissal was probably engineered by senior colleagues in response to a letter he wrote to the head of the department criticising the poor ...

Incompetent PE heart surgeons: the sorry saga continues

Incompetent PE heart surgeons: the sorry saga continues

The Health Professions Council refuses to be specific about how it is dealing with fraudulently registered or incompetent doctors and medical specialists on the grounds that the matter is “too sensitive” and ...

Update: Nasty Neighbours 1 – Wisedale denied leave to appeal

Update: Nasty Neighbours 1 – Wisedale denied leave to appeal

The man whose midnight wails frightened the neighbours and who became known as the ‘Monster’ of Haraldene Road, has his “day in court”:  Press Council Appeal Judge assesses the evidence led at a ...

Update: Nasty Neighbours 2 – Masekela moves in where Braude moves out

Update: Nasty Neighbours 2 – Masekela moves in where Braude moves out

In mid-January Michael Young, senior partner at Fairbridges attorneys Johannesburg branch, and trustee resident  of  posh Glenhof Gardens in Riviera, threw caution to the wind and wrote to lawyers representing his nemesis ...

Nasty Neighbours 3: Dr Feelgood vs his Sea Point neighbours

Nasty Neighbours 3: Dr Feelgood vs his Sea Point neighbours

Dr Feelgood plunges from Hollywood scandal to Cape Town strife: bricks and brickbats fly as the highlife GP now does battle with his Sea Point neighbours. By Helen Grange Twelve years ago Dr Jules Lusman ...

Dodgy Educor fails learners

Dodgy Educor fails learners

After a nightmare year of bungling and maladministration, it turns out that Educor-owned Damelin and Intec’s private matriculation courses are not accredited by the national education authorities. Nicole Garbet hoped to enter university in ...

Motorsport SA hits the dust

Motorsport SA hits the dust

Top motorcycle importers shun superbike racing as SA organisers dither over controls. MSA’s latest crisis involves national championship superbike and supersport racing – usually crowd-drawers. The motorcycles are basically production machines – 1000cc ...

Prang bang Santam harangue

Prang bang Santam harangue

Insurers provide contradictory advice on accident claim for a common enough scenario: the car behind focuses on oncoming traffic, sees a gap and takes off on the assumption that the car immediately in ...

NOTES: Washington Post boss does business with CIA

NOTES: Washington Post boss does business with CIA

By mid-January more than 25,000 people had signed an online petition sponsored by US civil rights campaign group RootsAction, calling on the Washington Post to “be honest about a big conflict of interest.” The ...

UPDATE: Domestic Violence orders - Lionel fights a good fight, and keeps winning

UPDATE: Domestic Violence orders - Lionel fights a good fight, and keeps winning

In June 2012 Noseweek reported how, at the instigation of his angry ex-wife, various policemen (and women) with a deficient knowledge of the law had arrested and detained Johannesburg businessman Lionel Greenberg ...

NOTES: MTN free-for-all against the law

NOTES: MTN free-for-all against the law

Rica* is the act that makes it compulsory for everyone in South Africa to register their cellphone number. It is one of the government’s key crime prevention initiatives towards making South Africa a ...

UPDATE: More cheating at Murray & Roberts

UPDATE: More cheating at Murray & Roberts

In December Noseweek revealed that the Competition Commission has found a new angle to pursue on the colluding road-construction industry (Editorial nose170). Now they are out to nail the two main suppliers of asphalt ...

Construction collusion: still no prosecutions

Construction collusion: still no prosecutions

Why are we waiting ... and ... waiting ...? What dirt might the major construction companies, that rigged tenders to defraud the public purse of billions, have on the government and its agencies? Dirt ...

Latest reports on Zimbabwe and DRC from Africa Confidential

Latest reports on Zimbabwe and DRC from Africa Confidential

Deals that trade mining concessions for arms from Russia and China were arranged privately during the period of the coalition government by Zanu-PF leaders, who kept them from their partners in government, the ...

Afrocynicism. Do you trust your government?

Afrocynicism. Do you trust your government?

Afrocynicism is swelling. The government’s failure to act against crooked public servants has made South Africa one of the most cynical nations on the continent, according to a new opinion survey. In 2005, ...