Registration irregularities at HPCSA


Media Statement


19 January 2012


For immediate release


Pretoria – The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is today revealing registration

irregularities within the Council after a  foreign qualified Neurosurgeon, who has never  met the

requirements for registration, was registered with the Council. 

The Council received an enquiry regarding the professional competency of Dr Nyunyi Wambuyi

Katumba in August 2011 and started investigating the matter.  The regulator requested the practitioner

on numerous occasions to submit documentation to ensure the Council has evidence that he acquired

and completed the required training for registration as a Neurosurgeon. 

As the practitioner failed to comply with the requirements, the Executive Committee of the Medical and

Dental Professions Board took a decision to  erase his name from the Register in December 2011. 

The HPCSA also informed the CEO and Head of Department of Neurosurgery at the Chris Hani

Baragwanath hospital of the Council’s decision to erase Dr Katumba. 

As the Regulator is an open and transparent organisation, the HPCSA started with an internal

investigation into the matter and can make the following information available:

 False information that Dr Katumba passed the necessary examinations were submitted to the

Sub Committee for Post Graduate Education and Training, who approved the practitioner’s

registration in the category Public Service Neurosurgery.

 Dr Katumba produced a letter in support of his employment as a specialist from the Foreign

Workforce Management Programme (FWMP).  He was subsequently registered on 27 June


 After serving the minimum required period of three years in the public service, and obtaining

his permanent residence permit, he applied for registration in Independent Practice.  He was

registered as a Specialist Independent Practice on 9 July 2010.


Protecting the public and guiding the professions

President: Prof MSM Mokgokong, Vice President: Prof T Sodi, Acting Registrar/CEO: Dr TKS Letlape


It is evident from the above that:

 The Sub Committee for Post Graduate Education and Training was supplied with erroneous

information stating he had passed the required examinations. 

 Not all the necessary certified copies and qualifications were provided.

 The ECFMG (Education International Credential Services) could only provide one verification

namely Dr Katumba’s basic medical qualification MD, the Speciality Neurosurgery is unverified.

“A number of procedural and system errors occurred with both registration processes”, Dr Kgosi

Letlape, Acting Registrar and CEO said.

“As we have erred in our mandate of protecting the public and guiding the professions, I would like to

reassure the public that their safety is a priority for the HPCSA and we will continue to ensure dubious

professionals do not bring the highly  esteemed profession into disrepute by acting swiftly and


“However, subsequent to this registration, a number of verification systems have been implemented to

ensure a satisfactory level of quality assurance during registration, including  a double verification

process.  I must also stress that this is  one step in an ongoing cycle of quality assurance and

improvement strategy to ensure that our future processes become more stream-lined and tightened.”

Consequently all stakeholders should be aware that henceforth the process of registering with the

HPCSA will take longer as we need to ensure that only qualified practitioners are registered and are

allowed to practice in our country.  To all foreign qualified practitioners who want to work in SA, please

understand the reason for ensuring all requirements are adhered and be patient as we process your


“The Council is also investigating possible complicity from staff and any guilty person(s) will be held

accountable.  There is no place for fraudulent activities. Collusion between staff and practitioners will

be severely dealt with.”


About the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is a statutory body and is committed to

protecting the public and guiding the professions.  The mission of the HPCSA is quality healthcare

standards for all.

Protecting the public and guiding the professions

President: Prof MSM Mokgokong, Vice President: Prof T Sodi, Acting Registrar/CEO: Dr TKS Letlape

The Council is mandated to regulate the health professions in the country in aspects pertaining to

registration, education and training, professional conduct and ethical behaviour, ensuring continuing

Professional Development (CPD), and fostering compliance with healthcare standards.

In order to safeguard the public and indirectly the professions, registration in terms of the Act is a

prerequisite for practising any of the health professions with which Council is concerned.

Issued by:

Bertha Peters-Scheepers

Senior Manager: Public Relations and Service Delivery

Health Professions Council of South Africa

Tel:  012 338 9481/ 079 510 4186