Thursday, January 19, 2017, 7 : 55 pm

Present: Dr Yumna Moosa (community service doctor at Bethesda Hospital), Prof Solomon Rataemane (chairperson of Fourth Committee of Preliminary Enquiry), Dr Prudence Buthelezi-Mlambo (member of Fourth Committee of Preliminary Enquiry), Ms Lulama Dikweni (community representative to Fourth Committee of Preliminary Enquiry), Prof Arthur Rantloane (member of Fourth Committee of Preliminary Enquiry), Dr Martin Mpe (member of Fourth Committee of Preliminary Enquiry)

Consultation by the HPCSA Fourth Committee of Preliminary Enquiry with Dr Yumna Moosa at the Sheraton Hotel in Arcadia, Pretoria. Meeting originally scheduled for 6 : 00 pm. (Recording excludes last part of the meeting when the phone used for recording was used to play another recording, shortly before meeting adjourned.)

DOWNLOAD (34min 58sec, 16MB)

[click on timestamps in text to skip to position in audio*]

Moosa: Hallo.

Rataemane: Please take a seat.

Rantloane: Hallo. Good evening. Please take a seat.

Rataemane: Where is doctor…

Mngadi: He went to…

Dikweni: He went to the bathroom.

Rataemane: Okay Dr Moosa, thank you very much for coming. How long did it take you to come here?

Moosa: I left home at half past seven this morning…

Rantloane: Shame…

Moosa: So a while.

Rataemane: But we are very happy that you came. Now just to shorten the process, hopefully not that short… We’ve read all the documentation, neh, from all sorts of people, and particularly yours. But we’d like… Oh, before I go there, my name is Prof Solly Rataemane, I’m a psychiatrist and chairperson of the meeting. Maybe let me ask my colleagues to introduce themselves.

Rantloane: Hallo, Prof Rantloane, anaesthesiologist. From Pretoria.

Mngadi: Zama Mngadi, legal services HPCSA.

Moosa: Yes, we’ve spoken. Great.

Buthelezi-Mlambo: [01:00] Dr Prudence Buthelezi-Mlambo, GP.

Mpe: Dr Martin Mpe, cardiologist.

Dikweni: Lulama Dikweni, community representative in this prelim committee.

Rataemane: Where are you working now?

Moosa: Bethesda Hospital.

Rataemane: As what?

Moosa: A cosmo. Comm service.

Rataemane: Community service. How are things there?

Moosa: I’m enjoying it, very much. It’s a very good team. I mean we’re suffering from the post freezes, but good… very good leadership.

Rataemane: It’s called Bethesda Hospital. Where is that?

Moosa: It’s Umkhanyakude District?

Rataemane: Okay.

Moosa: It’s near Manguzi, Mseleni…

Rataemane: Oh ja. That’s right in the deep end.

Moosa: Deep rural. Ja.

Rataemane: Exactly.

Buthelezi-Mlambo: When were you employed?

Moosa: Sorry?

Buthelezi-Mlambo: When were you employed?

Moosa: First of January.

Buthelezi-Mlambo: Were you part of those who were unemployed?

Moosa: Um, I was studying last year.

Buthelezi-Mlambo: Oh you were not part of this group that is unemployed.

Moosa: No.

Buthelezi-Mlambo: Oh.

Moosa: No. I was fortunate, and I was past that.

Rataemane: [02:00] So if you had to summarise the problems that unfolded during internship, what would you say in your own words?

Moosa: So I complained about discrimination, my supervisor was unhappy with me making that complaint, and the way that they responded was to try and punish me. And I don’t think that’s an appropriate way to respond to a junior colleague complaining.

Rataemane: Your emphasis on discrimination, what was it based on?

Moosa: It was based on comments and jokes and bullying.

Rataemane: Were you bullied in any way?

Moosa: Yes.

Rataemane: In what way were you bullied?

Moosa: Um… I was threatened, I… at one point my supervisor said, ‘You can’t complain about racism because… you can only complain about it if all the people of your race complain about it, and you are Coloured so you can’t complain about racism against black people. And then they said if I keep being the way that I am then I won’t ever get another job. And I got accused…

Rataemane: He said that? Or somebody else said it?

Moosa: He said that.

Rataemane: Uhuh.

Moosa: And they said things like, I’m going to be threatened… I’m going to get in trouble for dereliction of duty on the basis of nothing, I got accused of a variety of patently false things, like not dealing with a… I meant there’s that long list of accusations, all of those are just, like, fabricated. They’re just not based on any…

Rataemane: And then on your part, was there anything that you would find problematic with your approach to the problem? How you addressed it and so on? In retrospect.

Moosa: [04:00] Um… let me think. So from my perspective, how I would describe how I approached the problem, is I was first unhappy with my one supervisor’s behaviour. And I spoke to him directly about it.

Rataemane: Was that…

Moosa: Dr Jorge Ortega-Laurenti.

Rataemane: Yes.

Moosa: He’s not facing the HPCSA at the moment because what I’m most unhappy is not, primarily his behaviour, what I’m most unhappy about is how I was bullied and silenced for saying, ‘Um, I don’t think that his behaviour is acceptable.’ That part is what I think was worse. Because I think often people say inappropriate things, we make jokes that are off-colour, we live in South Africa, people say things that are offensive all the time.

Rataemane: Ja.

Moosa: That is a fact. If we removed every doctor who makes a racist comment then we would have very, very few doctors in this country. I recognise that. But I think that we should have the space to say, ‘Um, excuse me, that comment wasn’t appropriate,’ without suffering career consequences because you say you don’t like it.

Rataemane: And you think you have suffered some serious career consequences?

Moosa: Yes. I mean I had to… I had to give up my post at Mosvoldt Hospital. I mean… I also suffered serious psychological consequences. Ja.

Rataemane: Okay. Now this was where? But before Addington where were you?

Moosa: At Rahima Moosa Helen Joseph?

Rataemane: Before you went to KZN, where were you?

Moosa: Joburg.

Rataemane: Were there problems there?

Moosa: No.

Rataemane: There were no problems at Helen Joseph? Okay. Because you know these logbooks are sent to Council and so on. And you are sure there were no problems at Helen Joseph?

Moosa: There were two problems that I complained about.

Rataemane: [06:01] Okay.

Moosa: There were no complaints about me. And the two things that I complained about was, one in internal medicine where I didn’t like how they responded to the interns when one of the interns got sick. And the other thing I complained about was in polyclinic. Um, and ja. But both of those complaints in my logbook were me writing complaints about the department.

Rataemane: Your complaint. So let’s take that as an issue. Why was it you complaining all the time?

Moosa: Um… because I think that constructive feedback is useful. And it wasn’t only those two departments that I gave feedback in. I gave detailed feedback in most of my departments and for most of my logbook discussions. The reason it never became an issue before was people kind of responded like adults. So we had a few conversations about them.

Rataemane: So you have a feeling that you are being persecuted for being forthright?

Moosa: [07:06] Yes.

Rataemane: Okay, let me leave it there. Prof Ranthloane?

Rantloane: Thanks Mr Chairman. So the… coming back to the issue at Addington… You do the orthopaedics block, it’s two months, and then you go where thereafter?

Moosa: Anaesthetics. For two months.

Rantloane: Anaesthetics, for two months. At what point does orthopaedics does orthopaedics take your book for signing, for the group that had completed orthopaedics?

Moosa: Immediately at the end of orthopaedics.

Rantloane: At the end of orthopaedics.

Moosa: So midway between my time at Addington.

Rantloane: Okay. Alright. So when do you get to know there’s a problem?

Moosa: Um, let me think of the timeline now. So on the last Friday of orthopaedics I submitted my logbook.

Rantloane: Got it. With everybody else?

Moosa: With everybody else.

Rantloane: Okay.

Moosa: After writing an exit test. So we all write an exit test. Write the exit test, submit logbook.

Rantloane: Right.

Moosa: [08:13] In the logbook there was harsh criticism which I think was fair, but it was harsh. It said, ‘You use humiliation as a pedagogical tool,’ so people were called ‘stupid’, and ‘useless’, and ‘worthless’. Which happens commonly in medicine, I recognise, but I don’t think is a good approach to training junior professionals, especially if you want them to become caring professionals. It’s just a bad idea. So I said that. And I said that the jokes were sexually inappropriate, I said that I was touched against my wishes, which I was, and I was sexualised at work, which I also was. So I said all of these things, but I knew that they were harsh, and so I sent my head of department an email about it as well to try and explain in more detail why I was saying the things that I was saying. So that was on the Thursday, Friday at the end of orthopaedics. Then we went for the weekend, everything was fine, I thought, ‘I’m done, I’m moving on to anaesthetics.’

[09:14] And then in the first week of anaesthetics I heard from a number of colleagues, ‘What did you write in your logbook? They’ve been asking us questions, what’s going on?’ And then I was like, ‘I don’t know, they haven’t spoken to me directly’. Then eventually I get a phone call saying, ‘We want you to come to a meeting with the orthopaedics department to discuss what you wrote in your logbook.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, who’s going to be there, what’s it going to be about?’ And they were like, ‘No, no, just come to the meeting, just come to the meeting.’ And I was a little bit nervous about this meeting, coz I knew that I wrote quite harsh things in my logbook. Then I went to the meeting.

[09:52] And I… It was a meeting with five senior doctors, three of whom were from hospital management. And in this meeting of approximately three hours long they just sat there and explained to me how I was wrong, how I was in trouble, how I had sexually harassed them, how I was a terrible doctor [NOTE: This refers to statements that drawing pictures or eating in class was unprofessional for a doctor], and how I’d made this all up and actually everyone else loves Dr Jorge, and I must… and it was a really awful, awful, unpleasant experience, and it was on the basis of that meeting that I lodged a complaint of intimidation. But shortly after that meeting… so that was the more formal part, so they called it an informal meeting but that was the formal part for me, it had a labour relations person in it. And then it had two heads of department, the one that… the orthopaedic one that I had just left, and it had the anaesthetic one which I now had to work with for another two months, he was also supposed to be an impartial mediator in this meeting. Who was the primary leader of the bullying, but anyway, he considered himself impartial. And… ja, so this meeting eventually came to an end about three hours later.

[11:10] And immediately after that I went back to theatre, went back to work. And Dr Fabian, who was the anaesthetic head of department, called me into the tea room, at which point he was most explicitly threatening, because he said, ‘Listen, you’re gonna need to lose this logbook. Because if you don’t lose this logbook you are not gonna be signed off, this is gonna wreck your career forever, you don’t want to be the sort of person that says these things. And then I said to him, ‘Well, I’m the sort of person who says… I think sometimes people’s behaviour is inappropriate,’ and then it continued and then he sort of…

Rantloane: So they didn’t want you to write those things in your logbook?

Moosa: Yes.

Rantloane: Okay.

Moosa: My suspicion now, I mean I don’t… I don’t know, but my suspicion now is because Addington was having their internship accreditation assessed the year or two before that and they were scared. But I don’t know why the response was so severe.

Rantloane: [12:05] Sure but… so around that time, while you was in orthopaedics, we are given to understand there was an inspection by the HPCSA about internship training at Addington.

Moosa: Yes.

Rantloane: Did you participate in it?

Moosa: No.

Rantloane: Now why not?

Moosa: Because it was the first week of my time…

Rantloane: In orthopaedics?

Moosa: At Addington.

Rantloane: At Addington? Okay.

Moosa: Because I had…

Rantloane: So you had nothing to contribute?

Moosa: I thought I had nothing to contribute.

Rantloane: Okay, okay.

Moosa: So it was a week or two into my time there, and I had actually asked the internship curator whether I should attend precisely for that reason, because they said it’s compulsory for all interns.

Rantloane: Yes.

Moosa: So I said to her, ‘I’m.. I’m happy to go, do you want me to go?’ She said, ‘I don’t think it’s necessary’.

Rantloane: Okay. That’s important because we didn’t know that. Okay. So you did speak to the intern curator, who said it wasn’t necessary for you to go?

Moosa: Yes. Ja.

Rantloane: When you were encountering all of these difficulties in orthopaedics, did you get to perhaps share that with the intern curator at any stage?

Moosa: [13:06] No, I didn’t.

Rantloane: No you didn’t. Okay.

Moosa: I spoke to him and to the head of department. I had clearly misunderstood my relationship with Mr Maritz. I thought it was better than it actually was. I thought that we got on reasonably well. And that’s also why I sent him a franker email than I should have sent.

Rantloane: Fair point. The intern curator was in which… came from which department in the hospital? Do you know?

Moosa: I’m not sure. I never worked with her also, so that was the other thing. I knew who she was, but because I’d only been at the hospital for two months, I…

Rantloane: Sure. So you never got to know who this person actually was? I mean who she…

Moosa: I met with her once or twice, but I don’t know…

Rantloane: Oh is that so? Okay, okay. Was there… did you guys have an intern’s committee, or…?

Moosa: [14:00] We had a group leader.

Rantloane: A group leader?

Moosa: Ja.

Rantloane: Okay. Alright. Are you aware of the views of your fellow interns at the time about the struggle that you’ve had with the department? Did… did…. have you gotten to know subsequently what they thought?

Moosa: Some… I’ve gotten to know… before the thing became formal I knew how people felt. Afterwards, like, nothing. Afterwards… friendships are over. There’s people who I was friends with before internship who’s basically said, ‘Please stop speaking to me, I’m scared’. So…

Rantloane: Okay. Alright. Okay. Fair point. So… alright so then… So you weren’t signed off, where you had to redo orthopaedics? Where?

Moosa: That’s what they wanted me to do, but then the internship subcommittee looked at the matter and said, ‘You don’t have to do all six weeks, you can do one week at Prince Mshiyeni.’

Rantloane: Okay. Okay. The internship subcommittee of the HPCSA?

Moosa: [15: 03] Yes. Prof Luke.

Rantloane: Okay. Okay. Yes. So you did the one week at Prince Mshiyeni and then you were signed off and that was it?

Moosa: Yes.

Rantloane: Okay. The… what rotations did you do at Addington?

Moosa: Only orthopaedics and anaesthetics.

Rantloane: Oh I see. You’d done the rest up country.

Moosa: Everything else.

Rantloane: Oh I see. Okay. Okay. So this is all a new point now, it’s all done, there’s no…?

Moosa: Yes and no.

Rantloane: Ja?

Moosa: For me, the bullying of junior colleagues is a professional issue. It’s an issue of professional misconduct. And it happens often. The responses that I’ve gotten from people who are told about this… there’ve been hundreds of people saying, ‘Listen, the same thing has happened to me but I would never be able to complain.’ I’ve got at least seven people who have had problems with the very same doctors that I had a problem with…

Rantloane: Okay. So here’s a question…

Moosa: …who are too scared to speak.

Rantloane: [16:05] Right. The… this junior doctor’s association, are you aware of it?

Moosa: Yes.

Rantloane: Judasa I think it’s called. Have you interacted with them about this?

Moosa: I have.

Rantloane: Yes. And what has been the…

Moosa: I interacted with them in about… it was the middle of last year. The Judasa association of KZN was one person. Her name… I can’t remember what her name is now.

Rantloane: It was a dysfunctional structure then.

Moosa: It was a dysfunctional structure, but they were trying to get it up and running. And while I was still an intern I was actually elected as the interim KZN provincial rep. But then when I decided that I wasn’t going to stay in clinical medicine which happened last year, I then resigned, coz I was like, ‘I can’t be in Judasa if I’m not being a junior doctor’. But so Judasa KZN would have been me last year. So I couldn’t necessarily get help from…

Rantloane: [17:05] Okay. Fair point. That’s fine. I’m okay.

Rataemane: Dr Mlambo?

Buthelezi-Mlambo: Moosa, do you remember the letter that you wrote… the email that you wrote to Dr…

Moosa: Approximately, ja…

Buthelezi-Mlambo: Where you said he was your second-favourite orthopod… what were you meaning exactly?

Moosa: So I was… I was sort of being effusive. I was trying… I was putting some harsh criticism at the end, so I wanted to start by being complimentary. And my father’s an orthopod, so I couldn’t say you’re my favourite orthopod because my dad’s obviously my favourite orthopod.

Buthelezi-Mlambo: So you were being sarcastic in a way.

Moosa: Well ja, sort of playful. Again, that’s what I’m saying: I obviously misread the nature of our relationship. I thought we were sort of colleagues who joke with each other, but…

Rataemane: [17:58] You know that’s interesting. This is a head of department. And you see him as your colleague that you can joke with?

Moosa: Uhuh. I have that relationship with many of my colleagues.

Rataemane: Ja, but I’m just happy that Ma Mlambo picked this up because it is problematic at that level. When the person is your supervisor at that level, he does not expect certain levels of communication because it’s like over-friendly, over-familiar with each other. And it can trigger negative responses from both of you.

Moosa: Sure.

Rataemane: If he objects to it, you will also be offended and so on.

Moosa: I feel like I would like to say of myself, and obviously one can get this wrong, but if someone had communicated to me, ‘I don’t like how you speaking,’ then I would try to tone it down because, like I do sort of… I don’t want to make people uncomfortable.

Rataemane: [18:56] Personally, I think most probably you are a forthright person, you are open, you communicate freely with other people, but have you found this putting you in trouble?

Moosa: This is the worst. This is the worst.

Rataemane: Not necessarily here, but elsewhere. Has it not put you in trouble elsewhere?

Moosa: I mean, this is the… this is obviously the worst. But what… what’s also in that bundle is… It’s why I have, like, six letters of reference from other people I’ve worked with, because, precisely, I’ve communicated clearly and I’ve expressed when I can and can’t do something. And some leaders appreciate that. Some leaders appreciate feedback and engagement of their junior colleagues. And people are different.

Rataemane: Do you want to be a politician or a minister, doctor?

Moosa: Neither. I want to be a bioinformatician. I want to be a scientist.

[Laughter]

Buthelezi-Mlambo: Another question – do you… are you related or what’s happening with Rahima Moosa Hospital?

Moosa: No, I’m not related.

Buthelezi-Mlambo: What’s happening there?

Moosa: What’s happening there? I haven’t been there for a while.

Buthelezi-Mlambo: But have you ever worked there?

Moosa: Yes, yes.

Buthelezi-Mlambo: [19:57] Why most of the doctors who write your report, they never wrote from Helen Joseph? Why there was no any report from Helen Joseph. It’s only Rahima Moosa.

Moosa: The surgical one was from Helen Joseph.

Buthelezi-Mlambo: Is there a surgical one?

Moosa: Ja. From Doctor Sarah Rayne.

Rataemane: Ja, just that there are a few positive reports from Rahima Moosa, you know, the people that you worked with, where you rotated and so on.

Moosa: Ja. I’m not related to Rahima Moosa at all.

Rataemane: No, the hospital.

Moosa: Oh, not the person.

Buthelezi-Mlambo: It’s a home hospital.

Moosa: No, I studied in Cape Town, my first exposure to Joburg was at Rahima Moosa and Helen Joseph. That’s where I did my internship. But I didn’t study there, so I had no prior relationship with any of the doctors at…

Rantloane: Just back with me… the, the, the… Did you choose not to do orthopaedics and anaesthetics, to complete your internship in Durban, or family circumstances?

Moosa: So how it happened is my husband finished his civil engineering degree at the end of 20… we got married 2012 so 2014 he finished his degree, and I had four months of internship left, and what I asked for originally at Helen Joseph was to get a leave of absence so he and I could go travelling. Because I thought that once he starts working, when are we going to have four months of leave that we can go travelling. They refused my request for a leave of absence, and then I said, ‘Unfortunately, well then I’m resigning.’ I resigned and we went to Malawi and India and Mozambique, had a lovely time, he started his job in Durban, coz he has a bursary from eThekwini, and then when he started there then I tried to find a Durban hospital to complete.

Rantloane: I see. I see. Thank you.

Rataemane: Dr Moosa, this is… this can be a very long, complicated process. But there’s been too much energy into this. From you and from every other person around there. How do you want it to end?

Moosa: [22:01] I would like a very clear… I… Okay, what I’ve always wanted is a detailed apology. That was Plan A.

Rataemane: So who must apologise to whom?

Moosa: Um… Maritz, Fabian, Dr Ndlangisa and Addington. That was ideally… because they all knew this was going on. The CEO was involved at every step. I mean he was at the CCMA where they continued to bully me, witnessed by my four parents who were there.

Rataemane: You don’t look like a person who can be bullied, you know? You don’t sound like a person who can be bullied.

Moosa: I’ve got voice recordings. I’ve got transcripts. I got told…

Rataemane: No but is that bullying, or is that responding to how you talk? Because I think that a free speaker or a very open-minded person, you know… and a very bright person, now some people may take this as being over-confident and so on. Let me give you an example…

Moosa: Yes.

Rataemane: I think in one of the reports there was reference to absences from work.

Moosa: Yes.

Rataemane: [23:02] You are aware of that?

Moosa: Yes.

Rataemane: What were those about?

Moosa: So there were two days that I was sick. I went to the occupational health clinic at Addington and saw a doctor there. So, like, they have their own physical way to check that those are legitimate. It was Dr Gohil who works at Addington. And ja, I showed the sick note to Dr Jorge, who was my direct supervisor and he said, ‘That’s fine.’ I didn’t follow the correct protocol with that sick note. I was supposed to give it to Jabu Mahaye, I thought I was supposed to give it to HR.

Rataemane: You were supposed to fill in a leave form and attach it to the leave form.

Moosa: Yes. And I was supposed to give that to Jabu. I thought I was supposed to give that to HR. Which I then forgot to do. But I still had it.

Rataemane: [23:55] But you see, take that process, neh? Because every doctor knows that he or she has to fill in a leave form. And if there’s a sick note, attach it. Then it goes straight to HR. You bypass the immediate supervisors. Because some people interpret that as insubordination.

Moosa: Yes.

Rataemane: You know, so, so this is why I want to say, you know, let’s look at this, you know. They feel hurt also, that they thought you were undermining them and so on. And they don’t know what’s behind this. But on the other hand you feel they were really getting at you and making you uncomfortable. So you want an apology from Fabian. Would you apologise to them too?

Moosa: If you can explain to me what was…

Rataemane: Well you undermined your supervisor, your head of department. You ignored them. You take a sick note and go to HR. That’s number one.

Moosa: But I showed it to Dr Jorge, who was my direct supervisor.

Rataemane: But you didn’t fill in a leave form. You didn’t fill a leave form.

Moosa: He didn’t tell me to.

Rataemane: No but you know.

Moosa: I have never. I didn’t do that even once at Rahima Moosa.

Rataemane: Let me ask you… don’t you know if you’re absent from work you have to complete a leave form?

Moosa: [25:02] I didn’t do that once at Rahima Moosa. Not even once.

Rataemane: At Helen Joseph you didn’t fill a leave form?

Moosa: It’s the same… sorry, it’s the same… Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa is the same…

Rataemane: Sorry, ja, sorry, ja.

Moosa: …complex. So when I say Rahima Moosa I mean Rahima Moosa-Helen Joseph.

Rataemane: But nowhere else did you fill a leave form?

Moosa: I did for leave. I didn’t do it for the sick leave. And that was a fault of mine.

Rataemane: You know what I’m trying to say to you? Don’t overburden yourself on this subject. You know you’ve put in a lot and I think it has made a lot of people uncomfortable and, you know, this huge big profession, neh? Now Prof Ranthloane asked you if you have not worked through specific organisations that handle your interests. You haven’t worked through them. Because that would have been another way of neutralising your direct input there. An association takes it on your behalf. But you didn’t do that. It’s like a lone battle. You know we read your letters. We were getting tired reading your letters, you know. And of course the responses also came, its heavy. We want it to end amicably, you know, so that you don’t move around feeling people hate you, or they out to get you and so on. And they are also worried about their professional integrity and so on. I want to ask you this question again – besides the apology, how do you want this to end?

Moosa: [26:31] I would like a very clear statement of what has happened here. And that I have been intentionally and wrongly accused of things that I didn’t do…

Rataemane: Such as?

Moosa: … to silence my complaints about discrimination. The accusations of professional incompetence on my part were to silence my complaints about discrimination. That’s what they were. They were baseless. They were made up. At the CCMA including…

Rataemane: Let me ask you another question before I ask the colleagues to come in. What would happen if you just let bygones be? Let this thing go.

Moosa: [27:05] I… I mean you have the power to choose to do that. I’m not going to do that.

Rataemane: Ja, no, no. I’m just suggesting one option. That’s one option.

Moosa: Absolutely.

Rataemane: But you don’t want… you don’t like that option, you know?

Moosa: There are too many people who are also invested in this.

Rataemane: Who are those?

Moosa: Well, other interns who have had similar problems with the same doctors. Who are basically watching what happens here. Like, I’m not going to choose to drop it. You obviously… the committee has the power to choose to drop it, but I’m not going to make that choice.

Rataemane: No, no, we are not choosing anything. I’m just raising the possibilities.

Moosa: Sure, sure.

Rataemane: Because I’m looking at the amount of energy you’ve put into this. You’re finishing comm serve, where are you going to next year?

Moosa: Uh, hopefully a PhD in bioinformatics at UKZN.

Rataemane: And you are going to be working with people there.

Moosa: [28:00] Ja.

Rataemane: And some of them will be as difficult as the other people you’ve worked with. Now is there no give and take? Is it you who are always right and the other people are wrong?

Moosa: I try not to think like that. And I haven’t found myself in a situation like this before in my life. I mostly have very good working relationships with my colleagues, I have had that in most of the rest of my internship, I’m having that at the moment at my community service, I had that during my year of doing research at UKZN last year. I don’t usually have problems working with other people.

Rantloane: One question… the, the, the… Presumably when people… let’s take your… you know, your group of interns, they are still doing their internship, and they’re at Addington. And you ask them whether your allegations were true, people will say, ‘I don’t want to get involved,’ because they only want to complete their internship and carry on with their lives. Do you think if those people were asked, if you can ask their opinions, post-comm serve. And we say, ‘Please look back, can you…’. Then we test these allegations against those people, where now they are perhaps… presumably in a safer place. Do you think that you will probably get those colleagues of yours confirming, you know… siding with you?

Moosa: I think so.

Rantloane: That’s good.

Moosa: Well especially if they doing it under some sort of oath, absolutely. If they have to do it voluntarily, no. Voluntarily no.

Rantloane: They won’t, you don’t think so. Okay.

Moosa: [29:57] Especially not the ones who want to work in Durban. And that’s pretty much the situation. Lots of people who are from Durban want to work in Durban. And Durban is a small medical… close-knit community. And you don’t want to be the sort of person who complains. Which is essentially what I’ve done to myself; I’ve become the sort of person who complains.

Rantloane: In fact you administered a questionnaire? It was just a questionnaire? Because that’s probably the sort of thing that might have to happen if this process carries on.

Moosa: Absolutely.

Rantloane: Because now it’s… they talk about balance of….

Moosa: Probability.

Rantloane: …as you see, yes, you know. But anyway.

Moosa: But so on that point, like, if we are able to call people in as witnesses, I’ve got written, like, emails from people where they’ve said they found it to be a problem and so you show them the email and say, ‘Did you write this email?’, they gonna say yes or no. And if they feel like they’re under oath they’re gonna say yes. And so I have emails of them saying, ‘I do think this behaviour was…’

Rantloane: From that group?

Moosa: Ja. A number of people from that group. Confirming that the things I complained about actually happened.

Rantloane: Okay.

Moosa: [31:05] But I never wanted to force them to do this, A, while they were doing their internship and B, I don’t want to force my colleagues to be in any difficult position. Which is partly why I’m fighting this battle alone, because I’m the only one prepared to take the cost.

Rataemane: Did you have a question to raise?

Buthelezi-Mlambo: No, not me.

Rantloane: No, it’s fine I don’t have any question.

Rataemane: I hope it’s not the messages on the cellphone that are threatening…. But we have your perspective Dr Moosa, and…

Rantloane: Just one quick one. What was the outcome of the CCMA?

Moosa: They threw it out.

Rantloane: On what basis?

Moosa: Because I went to an HIV-Aids conference on the Friday, and they said she’s not present. And so my choice was to not attend the conference or to finish the CCMA. And I requested a postponement because I thought it was one day and it was three days….

Rataemane: [32:07] The conference?

Moosa: Ja. No, the HPCSA hearing. It started on a Wednesday. The first hearing was one day, so I assumed the second hearing was also one day. But there was a message that I didn’t get that they didn’t believe that I didn’t get, and so I had a conference on the Thursday and Friday in Cape Town that I was presenting at. And so when I arrived on the Wednesday I made an application for a postponement and then Addington refused the application for postponement and then it was refused. And then I attended the second day of the hearing in the hopes that we would find some sort of resolution, ‘cause that’s what we were gonna try to do on the second day, and then we didn’t. And then basically… I was presenting on the Friday. So I missed the Thursday of the conference, but I was presenting on the Friday, and I said, ‘Sorry, I… It’s more important for me to present at this conference than it is to do the CCMA thing.’

Rantloane: [33:04] So what is your regard for the CCMA? Do you think it is an important institution? That once you initiate some process you need to stick to their timelines, or they had to change to accommodate you?

Moosa: Well I wasn’t aware that it was a three day hearing to begin with. And my flights were already booked, and I was on the programme. And so… like, my accommodation was paid for. It was a… it was a difficult choice to make, and that was the choice that I made.

Rataemane: You submitted all of those?

Moosa: All of those things. The flights, the details, the programme that I was on. I had all of those things. But basically they didn’t believe me when I said I didn’t know it was three days. They said, ‘No, you did know, we don’t believe that you didn’t know.’ So…

Rantloane: You say it was thrown out because you were not there.

Moosa: Ja.

Rataemane: Are there any questions that you want to ask us?

Moosa: [33:59] Um, I’d just like to understand the process from here out, and the sort of… objective of these consultation meetings.

Rataemane: The objective of the consultation, number one, is that we wanted to get the picture clarified by you, because we’ve read the letters, and we wanted to see you in person and confirm certain things, and that’s what we’re trying to do. And after that we go back to the original complaint that you laid, and look at the responses of the people you complained against, and we will come to some conclusion.

Moosa: Okay, and then just one other thing I’d like to add, I know the submissions usually are done in paper, but Prof was talking about how I don’t seem like the sort of person who can be bullied. There are actual voice recordings that can be listened to that, from the words and the tone, they very…

Rataemane: Do you have it? Do you have the recordings? Just play one for us.

Moosa: I can play one. Let me find it…