News Article

March News 2017

Dear SAMLA Members,


I trust that this letter finds you well and happily into 2017.

It has already been an exceptionally busy year behind the scenes for the SAMLA Faculty and Directors, with many arrangements and networking opportunities being developed and strengthened and programmes planned for the year.


Expert witness training course:

The long-awaited University aligned Post Graduate Course in Medico-Legal Practice is in a very advanced stage of development and SAMLA will soon be in a position to announce where and when it will be held. Once it commences, Certificate one – Foundations of Medicolegal Practice comprising of 33 lectures, will be taught over 11 Saturdays, 2/month, but excluding public-and school holidays.


One of the amazing features of the course is that, if all goes well and there are enough participants, the training will be presented simultaneously in 5 venues across the country with live communication between the venues - quite ground-breaking and hi-tech.


SAVE THE DATES – see provisional dates below in Bold

SAMLA is planning a  full day seminar “Highlights from the Post Graduate Course” for the 13th May to whet your appetite for the training. It promises to be a jam-packed day where you will find out more about the course structure and content and have the opportunity to see some of the lecturers in action and interact with them.

Your lecturers for the course were hand-picked from eminent experts all over the country, to bring you a cutting edge training programme and the most up-to-date information currently available in the field.


Medico-legal Mediation:

Another dynamic project that SAMLA is involved in, is that of getting a process of mediation off the ground for the deluge of medical malpractice cases that threaten to deplete the financial resources of the Department of Health and clog up the courts.

To this end a special workshop was held by the Department of Health and other stakeholders on Friday the 3rd March in Johannesburg. The workshop, which was attended by Ministers Naledi Pandor and Aaron Motsoaledi, as well as Judge President Hlophe (Western Cape High Court) and other judges, advocates experts and role-players, was a resounding success. Several interesting changes are in the pipeline.


Medico-Legal Mediation

SAMLA is also cooperating with Mediation in Motion form the Cape and Conflict Dynamics in Johannesburg to develop top-up courses for trained mediators who are interested in medico-legal mediation.

Conflict Dynamics will be presenting such a course in Johannesburg on 7 and 8 June 2017. Trained mediators can contact Conflict Dynamics for more details. This course is designed to help you understand the very specific needs and intricacies of mediation of complicated medico-legal cases.

Notices will be circulated to this effect soon. Meanwhile, please save those dates.


 SAMLA Website  -

My goodness, what a performance it has been to get the new website up and running, well, almost…

Upgrading the website, inherited from a previous regime, is another ambitious SAMLA project. It is designed to alleviate pressure from our office and to automate many of our regular processes, such as membership renewals and applications, online registration and payment for workshops.  It includes a searchable database for easy referrals and connection with experts in the field of your enquiry. (Be sure to update your details so clients and colleagues can find you if you so wish). The website is also supposed to generate CPD certificates after successful workshop attendance by members who require them. (Let’s keep our fingers crossed!)

We have had our fair share of Gremlins that have crept in every now and then, and have upset several people (and apple carts) by sending out wayward messages about terminations and re-applications in sometimes very abrupt e-mail letters. To all our esteemed members who have been affected rudely by the form letters, please accept our humble apologies and bear with us and the teething troubles. (If this site gets any more teeth it will be a killer whale soon!).

NB!!! If you are already a member, do not re-apply for membership. Simply follow the link in your mail to go to the secure payment gateway and renew your membership online. If you pay by credit card (this is recommended), please be sure to give your correct e-mail address, so you can receive your receipt by mail. Please print out  your Receipt immediately and keep it safe for tax purposes.

By the way, your membership will run for a full year from payment, so you can join or renew at any time of the year and get your full money’s worth.

The POPI act has not made things easier for us. We could not simply carry over the data from the old to the new website, as consent for release of personal information is now required. Please help us by checking and updating your details on the website.

Once you have paid, please find your details under your profile. Engage the little pen and edit your personal details. Do check that you have marked the privacy settings for your phone numbers and searchability, otherwise people who need your services cannot find you.

There is space to add in a short CV. The site can also connect with your LinkedIn profile.

Request to members: please visit the website regularly for the latest news, comments and interesting judgements and opinions.


News from the Branches:

Western Cape – Romany Sutherland

General topic for 2017: Because this is such a huge area of concern, we are going to concentrate on every aspect of Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy / Cerebral Palsy cases in most of our training this year.

We are going to involve the nursing schools in the Western Cape who are going to be invited to talk at the initial seminar as well as discuss how the "partogram" used for natural deliveries can be implemented more effectively or improved.  Dr Dalmeyer will present problems and solutions from  the Gynae perspective or call on colleagues to talk on this.

We will then address the cases from a legal perspective, study the merits of cases, experts, etc and then the main focus is on how to quantify these matters. We will also encourage mediation rather than litigation...what do these families really need? For example, do they need immediate respite in the form of a trained caregiver and access to the therapies that the child needs ASAP rather than waiting for 8 years for litigation to produce millions which is a little too late, i.e.  not focusing on the needs of the child and his/ her family from date of birth.

Save the W Cape dates:  26 May and 15 September


Gauteng Branch – Prof Jan Becker

Faculty Course Trial Run – Highlights from Medico-Legal Practice Training Course (All provinces and hopefully in several cities) – Saturday 13 May – Full day

SIOPSA mock trial  - 24 July – Full day

SAMLA mock trial – 4 November – Full day


KZN Branch – Adv Ian Dutton

Expert Witness Seminar – 6 May

Mock Trial – 8 July

Mock Mediation – 9 September

Details to be released closer to the events.


Free State Branch – Johan Jordaan

Next meeting in April – date to be determined.


Eastern Cape Branch  - Dr Henry Lerm

Expert Witness training – Port Elizabeth  - 10 June

Medical Law and Ethics – Fort Hare, Alice Campus – 19 August

Seminar – East London – 18 November

We look forward to seeing you at all our 5 branches.


SAMLA continues to be committed to your excellence.



Dr Hannetjie Edeling and your SAMLA team.

SAMLA Admin-and Communications Director.

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