Tim Noakes

Noakes: ‘HPCSA will lose new war against me!’

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is back on the warpath against LCHF advocate, Prof Tim Noakes. Noakes has called this ongoing and incredibly expensive saga “malicious” and that the HPCSA face “five rather large roadblocks in its case against him”.

It has also thrown down legal gauntlets to Pretoria advocate, Joan Adams, who headed HPCSA’s Professional Conduct Committee that heard the charge of unprofessional conduct against him, and rejected it.

She delivered the comprehensive, 60-page, four-to-one not-guilty verdict in Cape Town on April 21, 2017. The HPCSA announced its decision to appeal in early May but only gave grounds in August.

The HPCSA effectively claim that the committee, including three medical doctors, didn’t know what they were doing. They “fundamentally misconstrued their role in evaluating the evidence”. And they “erred and misdirected themselves on the law and the facts”.

The HPCSA believe there’s a “reasonable chance” their Appeal Committee will overturn the entire verdict. They don’t just want a guilty ruling. They want a whole new “rehearing”.

Noakes calls that “malicious”. He says that the HPCSA face “five rather large roadblocks in its case against him”. Those include compelling new evidence of collusion between a dietitian on the HPCSA and the dietitians who reported him.

It’s now a fight between lawyers and Noakes will not have to appear. The case will only be heard next year.

The HPCSA says they haven’t yet decided who’s on the appeal committee. It will consist of four members who must reach a majority verdict. In case of deadlock, the chair has the casting vote. (Correction: an HPCSA source says that the rules do not allow the chair to have a casting vote. And therefore, If there is deadlock – two for, two against – the committee must acquit.)

Usually, the appeals process does not involve any new evidence. However, Noakes’s legal team uncovered dramatic new evidence in an access-to-information request to the Association for Dietetics in SA (ADSA).

Adam Pike, of Pike Law, made the June 2017 request under the Protection of Access to Information Act (PAIA). It puts a new light on the drivers and motivation behind the hearing.

ADSA’s new president, Nicole Lubasinski, initially refused the PAIA request. Lubasinski claimed that as a “corporate body without profit motive”, ADSA didn’t have to agree. She complied after Pike explained the implications of PAIA to her.

The PAIA request yielded an incriminating email chain. It supports the defence contention that the HPCSA was biased against Noakes from the outset. It also suggests collusion with ADSA.

Emails appear to show irregular contact between HPCSA’s Dietetics Prof Edelweiss Wentzel-Viljoen, and ADSA dietitians. These include Claire Julsing Strydom, who first reported Noakes, and her successor as ADSA president Maryke Gallagher.

In emails, Strydom and Gallagher make emotional appeals for help from Wentzel-Viljoen. They also ask the HPCSA to speed up action against Noakes. In one email, Wentzel-Viljoen assures them that the HPCSA has “a plan” for Noakes.

She apologises for being unable to reveal the plan at that stage.

The HPCSA hasn’t said yet if it will allow the new evidence. However, it will be on public record in The Lore of Nutrition, which Noakes and I have co-authored. Penguin Random House is publishing it in November 2017….. [click here to read more, long read]

….Another big roadblock for the HPCSA is “irrefutable evidence” of the real reason that Strydom laid her complaint, Noakes says.  It wasn’t because Noakes’s tweeted information posed any danger to Leenstra’s baby, he says. It was the phenomenal success and effects of The Real Meal Revolution on the dietetics profession.

Publishers released the book two months before Strydom lodged her complaint.

“It is clear that the general public was asking questions of ADSA and its dietitians that they were unable or unwilling to answer.”

Instead, Noakes says that Strydom wanted the HPCSA helped her to humiliate Noakes publicly. She believed that dietitians would win back the confidence of the public.

Noakes has an idea of the key event that really irritated ADSA and pushed Strydom and Gallagher over the top into action against him. It was probably not anything he wrote. Rather, it was an article by Gary Watson entitled Tim Noakes on Bullshit. News24 published it on January 13, 2014, just three weeks before Strydom laid her complaint.

Viewers have read the article almost 100 000 times, Noakes says. It includes many comments unfavourable to ADSA and dietetics professionals.

Therefore, it “must have been very threatening to the profession when News24 published it”, he says.

He didn’t write the article denigrating the profession but would “have to bear the consequences”.

Noakes currently awaits “further information of how (the HPCSA hearing) came about”. He also wants to know how the HPCSA charged him on “what we’ve clearly established are false and malicious grounds”.

FoodMed.net: Read the full article [long read]