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HomeMedico-LegalPietermaritzburg doctor in court over 'holding employees hostage'

Pietermaritzburg doctor in court over 'holding employees hostage'

A Pietermaritzburg doctor accused of holding employees at her private practice and of ordering armed men to terrorise and torture others over a missing notebook has refuted the allegations, saying “the truth will come out”, writes the Sunday Tribune.

Dr Bongiwe Constantia Nungu, owner of the Uminathi Medical Centre & Aesthetics Clinic, was granted R20,000 bail last week when she reappeared at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrates Court. Nungu said the truth on what transpired on the day in question would soon be revealed and she was confident the matter would be dropped by the court. She claimed the allegations against her were to assassinate her character.

At the centre of the case was a notebook that allegedly went missing but was found and was now part of the police’s investigation. Nungu was alleged to have interrogated her 10 staff members on the whereabouts of a notebook in October. Some were allegedly tortured by men allegedly instructed by the doctor.

Nungu was arrested by the Loop Street police and appeared at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court in November facing charges of kidnapping and was released on R10,000 bail. The case was postponed to December but Nungu failed to appear. She was then ordered to be back at the beginning of February but again there was no sign of her or her legal team.

Last Friday the court issued a warrant for her arrest and ordered that her R10,000 bail be forfeited. Nungu was re-arrested and appeared in court on Tuesday where she had to re-apply for bail. “We did not have the correct dates to appear in court, but that has been resolved. I was not running away, I have been operating my practice and attending to my patients,” said Nungu. “My lawyers have advised me not to divulge much at this stage because the matter is under investigation but the truth will come out at the next appearance.”

Priscilla Sekhonyana, spokesperson for the Health Professions Council of SA, confirmed Nungu was registered with the council and a complaint about her alleged conduct was received and an investigation was conducted. She said the matter will be before the relevant committee at their next meeting.

Sekhonyana said although Nungu faced criminal charges, she was allowed to continue to practise. Health professionals only ceased to practise once they have been suspended by the council.

 

[link url="https://www.iol.co.za/sunday-tribune/news/doctor-accused-of-kidnapping-and-terrorising-staff-over-a-missing-notebook-13d6ef8b-990c-46e5-a336-a0164b840896"]Full Sunday Tribune report (Open access)[/link]

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