DRC ‘doctor’ appears in court

File picture
File picture
Image: Deneesha Pillay

A man who was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly practising medicine unlawfully appeared in the Motherwell Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Christian Akoka, 38, from DRC, was charged with contravening section 17 of the Health Professions Act 56 of 1974.

Akoka was arrested during a joint raid by the health and traffic regulatory authorities.

He was allegedly practising illegally at a Motherwell surgery, and arrested following raids by inspectors from the different organisations on at least 10 surgeries in the metro.

The raids were part of ongoing efforts to deal with alleged fraud relating to the issuing of public driver’s permits (PDPs).

The operation was targeted at specific surgeries identified during an investigation into the issuing of permits.

In order to gain a PDP a medical certificate must be issued by a doctor who is supposed to do a full medical examination of patients to ensure they are free of any ailment that could compromise them while driving either a taxi or bus.

Akoka’s private attorney, Paul Roelofse, asked for a postponement so the defence could have more time to get all the necessary documents.

During the hearing, the prosecution raised concerns regarding Akoka’s resident status, saying he had not only failed to provide documentation to prove he was a qualified doctor, but had also failed to provide documentation that he was in the country legally.

According to the prosecution, the status verification of the accused would determine whether or not he would face possible deportation.

Akoka said he had been in the country since 2009.

He said he had started by applying for refugee status “and I obtained a small card”, which he was told was not an identity document.

He is to appear in the Motherwell Magistrate’s Court again on Tuesday.