Advocate Joan Adams and the panel has unanimously agreed to allow Canadian professor, Stephen Cunnane, to testify without actually being present at the hearing between the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and Prof Tim Noakes.
The decision follows an application by Prof Noakes’ lawyer, Advocate Michael Van Der Nest to consider allowing Cunnane to testify via live teleconferencing.
Van Der Nest explained that South African experts have been reluctant to testify and that is why Cunanne, a specialist in brain metabolism and aging at the Université de Sherbrooke, and author of Survival of the Fattest, was approached.
Van Der Nest closed his argument saying that allowing Cunnane to testify, is in interest of justice.
The HPCSA objected the application saying that according to the regulations all oral testimonies need to be delivered under oath and that technology may fail and have an influence on the quality of the connection and live stream.
Mapolisa is also concerned that loadshedding might be a possibility.
He’s main concern, however, is that the witness might be influenced and won’t be able to be monitored to ensure credibility of his testimony.
To that Adams replied and said the location and presence of the witness does not ensure there won’t be tampered with the evidence and that the witness cannot be monitored 24/7, irrespective of his / her location. The ruling was made in favour of Noakes’ side.
Loyal Noakes supporters, dressed in red, showed up in numbers.
Real Meal Revolution’s Managing Director, Jonno Proudfoot said "We stand behind Prof Noakes in his right to (informed) freedom of speech and to ensuring that information is available to all who need it.”
The trial is set to continue for the next seven days.
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