JOHANNESBURG — A neurosurgeon believed to be from Zimbabwe who might have been involved in major operations at the Steve Biko and Chris Hani-Baragwanath hospitals is alleged to have fake qualifications.
Nyunyi Wambuyi Katumba, who has been struck off the roll by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), also worked at Mediclinic Medforum in Pretoria.
Despite having worked illegally for four years, the HPCSA said it would not lay fraud charges against Katumba because their mandate is only to deregister him.
Health Department spokesman Fidel Radebe said they were investigating if Katumba had been involved in any major operations at Steve Biko and Chris Hani-Baragwanath hospitals. It is alleged that Katumba failed to prove that he was a qualified doctor.
Sowetan was told that his qualifications were questioned while he was working as a neurosurgeon at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.
Katumba was fired from the Pretoria hospital when his contract expired in 2010, but he later got the same post at Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto .
A source at this hospital told Sowetan yesterday that management had questioned his qualifications because he was not competent. The acting HPCSA registrar, Kgosi Letlape, confirmed yesterday that Katumba had been deregistered.
According to law it would be a criminal offence for him to practice medicine in South Africa.
“His name was erased from the register of medical practitioners of the Health Professions Council of South Africa earlier this month in terms of the council’s mandate to protect the public,” Letlape said.
He said Katumba was dismissed after unsuccessful attempts to verify the authenticity of his specialist registrations in Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Katumba told Sowetan yesterday that he was a qualified neurosurgeon and would take the HPCSA to task for firing him.