A Limpopo clinical doctor accused of dealing in illicit drugs including nyaope and dagga has been suspended by the provincial health department.
Dr Mpho Paul Lekalakala (35) who was attached to the Elim Hospital, appeared briefly in the Waterval Magistrate’s court yesterday (Thursday) on charges of drug dealing.
Police reports state that the suspect is currently doing community service around the Waterval area. Nine sachets of nyaope, four rocks (hard drugs), two smoking pipes and a plastic bag containing dagga were confiscated during his arrest.
Lekalakala was apparently on leave at the time of his arrest.
The Bethesda Rehabilitation Centre, an NGO which assists with fighting drug addiction in the area, is also situated on the same hospital grounds where Lekalakala works.
The police spokesperson, Lt-Col Moatshe Ngoepe said that Lekalakala’s arrest was part of a provincial clampdown on possible drug dealers. He said that the police had tracked the suspect after receiving a tip off. “Information was followed up that led the police to a house where the doctor and his alleged accomplice, aged 32, were arrested. These operations will be conducted continuously to rid the affected areas of this scourge,” said Ngoepe.
Spokesman for the provincial department of health Thabiso Teffo yesterday said they would suspend Lekalakala with immediate effect. Teffo said they would also report the matter to the Health Professions Council of SA.
“While we respect the notion of innocent until proven guilty, we are equally disappointed and disturbed at the prospect of a medical doctor possibly helping in the illegal distribution of illicit drugs. Doctors have taken an oath to look after the well-being of our people,” Teffo said.
Dr Mpho Lekalakala, 34, was released on R1000 bail.