Video: Mkhize says Dr Abdulhay Munshi’s killing ‘unthinkable’, as doctors protest

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, 9 March 2020. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Munshi was shot and killed in Johannesburg on Wednesday evening.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has expressed his “shock and dismay” over the death of Dr Abdulhay Munshi, “who was brutally murdered in an allegedly orchestrated attack on Wednesday afternoon”.

Munshi was shot and killed in Johannesburg on Wednesday evening.

He was facing a culpable homicide case, along with paediatric surgeon Professor Peter Beale.

In a statement on Friday, Mkhize said Munshi’s killing was “unthinkable”, especially while the safety and psychological well-being of healthcare workers was in the spotlight.

“It is unthinkable that anyone would consider taking the life of a health worker; people who have been in the frontline of the fight against Covid-19.

“We wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to the family of Dr Munshi, his colleagues, friends and the medical fraternity as a whole,” Mkhize said.

He further called on law enforcement to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“We call on the law enforcement agencies to do everything in their powers to ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to book and face the full might of the law.”

Meanwhile, the South African Private Practitioners Forum (SAPPF) has added its voice to the professional bodies shocked by the killing of Munshi.

SAPPF chief executive Dr Chris Archer described the anaesthetist as “a kind and gentle person who was dedicated to his patients and maintained excellence in his profession and practice”.

The forum said Munshi “was arrested and treated like a common criminal when a patient under his care died unexpectedly last year”.

Archer added that the body had reacted to the treatment of Munshi “by writing to the [Health Professions Council of South Africa]”, as well as the Hospital Association of South Africa, and the ministers of health and justice.

“In these letters, we asked them to join us in condemning this kind of treatment of medical professionals and encouraged them to allow due process to occur. This means that an inquest into events resulting in unexpected medical outcomes must be conducted before any judgement or action is taken against the doctor. The formal inquiry by the HPCSA has not yet occurred.

“Dr Munshi was an anaesthetist, one of the disciplines at highest risk for contracting Covid-19. This means he was offering his life for the service of people and this act against him, his family, and the profession at this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, makes it more unbearable.”

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