It is 07:30 and the Hillbrow police station is abuzz with the bereaved families of minor children, who allegedly died at the hands of two doctors, seeking justice…
The families waited outside the police station for the two doctors to hand themselves over after a warrant of arrest was issued for them.
Specialist doctors Peter Beale and Abdullhay Munshi eventually arrived at the police station accompanied by their lawyers.
Beale was employed as a paediatric surgeon, while Munshi was working as an anaesthetist at Netcare Parklane private hospital.
The two are currently suspended following an investigation into the death of 10-year-old Zayyaan Sayed after he underwent surgery for acid reflux.
Minutes later at the police station, investigators brief the families that Beale and Munshi have been officially detained and will be processed before being transported to the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court for their first appearance.
The two doctors were later seen escorted by the police from the holding cells and loaded in the back of a marked police van headed to court.
— Iavan Pijoos (@iavanpijoos) December 17, 2019
The faces of the bereaved families beamed with happiness as Beale and Munshi were taken to court
Zayyaan’s father, businessman and whistle blower Mohammadh Sayed, was also at the police station with his family and bodyguards.
He told News24 what he had been hoping for had finally happened.
Sayed had blamed the two doctors for his son’s death and filed charges of culpable homicide against them.
“My son went for unnecessary surgery that took his life,” he said.
“His operation, according to Beale, was supposed to take an hour-and-a-half but it lasted three hours and 45 minutes. After the surgery, Zayyaan didn’t wake up. Munshi failed to save my son’s life.”
After Zayyaan’s surgery, his lung collapsed, and he died not long afterwards.
A few days after his son’s death, Sayed laid charges at the Hillbrow police station.
His wish is to see Beale and Munshi convicted, sentenced and stripped of their medical licences.
In order to strengthen his case, Sayed posted his horrific experience on social media, inviting more parents, who had suffered the same fate, to come forward. They have since joined him in a quest for justice.
‘Doctors thought they are untouchable’
“The two doctors thought that they are untouchable. As parents, we think that there are more families who are seeking justice after either losing their children or after they were left with permanent disabilities.
“I did this to assist every child harmed by the two men. I want justice to prevail for all the children. I want to see them being stripped of their titles as doctors. I ask the law to do its course and deliver justice,” he said.
Thuso Mokoena lost his six-month-old son, Thapelo, after Beale performed an operation on him in April 2016.
Mokoena said he took baby Thapelo to Beale to change his feeding tube.
“I think he harmed my child because after the operation he asked my wife and I to take Thapelo home. Thapelo cried hysterically on our way home until he later died that day.
“He died in my wife’s arms. It was a traumatic experience and it is unforgivable,” Mokoena said.
He claimed he had tried to lay charges and was turned away by the police because a post-mortem was never conducted on Thapelo’s body.
Mokoena said it took him a year to get a response from Beale who told him that his son’s death was unfortunate.
Another parent, Craig Cynkin, claimed his then-two-month-old son Jake’s circumcision was not done correctly by Beale in February (this year).
Cynkin said since the procedure, Jake had been to the hospital more than three times and was told that the circumcision would be corrected.
He said Jake’s procedure needed to be redone by Beale.
Zeenat Varachia claimed Beale betrayed his oath after performing an operation on her six-year-old daughter, Mahdiyya.
Varachia accused Beale of performing an operation in June this year that left her daughter with a serious problem of failing to control her stool.
She claimed Mahdiyya was misdiagnosed by Beale.
“Beale cut out 6cm of one of my daughter’s intestines and removed her entire rectum. Today, my daughter has lost out on schooling because of her current condition. We can’t travel with her to far places because she can’t control her stool.
“She is messing her bed. It is hard for her. Her life has changed. She has not enjoyed her school holidays since she underwent the operation,” she said.
Varachia accused Beale of deliberately violating her daughter.
“I want Beale to own up for what he did. I am in a lot of pain. We want to set an example with Beale to prevent other doctors from doing the same thing.”
Mahdiyya is expected to undergo another operation to repair the damage done to her.
Meanwhile, Beale and Munshi have been granted R10 000 bail each by the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court. They are expected back in court on March 31, 2020.