S.Africa charges Netcare over organ transplants

by reuters | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Thursday, 16 September 2010 14:35 GMT

* Netcare denies any wrongdoing

* Authorities to issue details of case later

* Netcare shares fall 1.8 pct, lag index

(Adds NPA spokesman)

By Tiisetso Motsoeneng

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 16 (Reuters) - South African authorities charged Netcare <NTCJ.J> and its chief executive with offences related to organ transplants at a Durban hospital, the private hospital group said in a statement on Thursday.

Netcare, which runs private hospitals in South Africa and Britain, has denied the charges.

It said the national prosecutors office charged it with violating regulations on transplants performed at the hospital in 2001 and 2002.

It did not provide further detail on the suspected violations and South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) also declined comment on the details of the case.

"The allegations made are unjustified and... neither Netcare nor (CEO Richard) Friedland are guilty of any wrongdoing," Netcare said in the statement.

Local media reported on the case in 2003, saying investigators were looking into suspected payments for organ donations by poor people.

"All I can say is, it is a matter that we're looking at, we can't comment any further because not all the people have been served with summons," said Mthunzi Mhaga, spokesman for the NPA.

Shares in Netcare fell 1.8 percent to 13.56 rand by 1230 GMT, lagging a 0.3 percent fall in the JSE All-share index <.JALSH>. (Editing by Jon Herskovitz and David Holmes)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.