Roy Jobson

An open letter to the Medicines Control Council

According to the meetings schedule published on the Medicines Control Council’s (MCC) website, the council’s next meeting is to be held on Friday, April 17. A request was made to have the following open letter placed on the meeting’s agenda for its consideration. Although some aspects are technical, the gist of the letter should be…

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Easter, Fujimori, Vlok and Van der Merwe

A bench of three Peruvian judges has convicted former president of Peru, Alberto Fujimori, of gross human rights violations. These were torture, kidnapping and enforced disappearances committed during the early 1990s. The Special Criminal Division of Peru’s Supreme Court concluded that Fujimori as president bore individual criminal responsibility in all three cases because he had…

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Just trust the president

Duma Kumalo was sentenced to death for participating in the murder of an apartheid-era Sharpeville councillor. Duma Kumalo was innocent. He was not even present when the murder took place. Duma was convicted on the basis of testimony of another Sharpeville resident, elicited through torture. This was revealed at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)….

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Seven fat years

Sunday February 22 2009 marked the seventh anniversary of the well-intentioned but ultimately misguided call-up of medicines frequently referred to as complementary medicines. Officially the call-up ended on August 22 2002, but the Medicines Regulatory Affairs Cluster of the Department of Health continues to accept documentation for these products. The Medicines Control Council (MCC) seems…

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The Peddlar, the Minister and the Inspector

Justice Zondi’s careful and deliberate judgment in the Cape High Court case brought by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and South African Medical Association (SAMA) against Dr Matthias Rath and others, has several interesting consequences. The main issues in the case were whether or not Dr Rath had been conducting unauthorised clinical trials, whether or…

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Business unusual — during apartheid

Judge Korman was the lone dissenting voice against the appeal of the Khulumani lawsuit in October 2007. The appeal was lodged against the judgement dismissing the plaintiffs’ claims under the United States’ Alien Tort Claims Act. The Khulumani Lawsuit, on behalf of Khulumani Support Group and less than 100 named plaintiffs, charges 23 foreign corporations…

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Why I am not a rural doctor

I was destined by accident of birth to work in a rural hospital. My grandfather was a missionary doctor who founded and built a Church of Scotland mission hospital in Venda. He was quite literally the hero of the family. Having already been awarded a DSc in botany and well on his way to an…

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Dishonourable discharge

The proposed pledge of allegiance for schoolchildren has already received voluminous comment from contributors to and diverse readers of Thought Leader. Minister Naledi Pandor said she could not see why people might have any problem with the pledge. Here’s an angle from the perspective of the Khulumani Support Group, the national non-party political membership organisation…

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How to sell your soul in 10 easy steps

Assume I have no conscience or any morals. Assume I have a legitimately registered company or CC with hefty overdraft facilities. Here I am in South Africa just ready to make a buck from those most gullible of consumers — the worried (but wealthy) well, the health and wellness neurotics, the painted, dyed and cosmetic-dependent…

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16 Days of Activism

Please accept my apologies for my lack of enthusiasm for activism this year. I am worn out, and have neither the energy nor the inclination to find out exactly what activism activities are happening in my part of the world. I also have no desire to wear a symbolic white ribbon. (I don’t do ribbons.)…

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