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'Tim Noakes placed his interests first'

An expert witness says the professor placed his interest above the needs of a breastfeeding mother.

FILE: Tim Noakes. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - An expert witness for the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) says professor Tim Noakes placed his own interests above the needs of a breastfeeding mother when he advised the woman to wean her baby onto a Banting diet.

The issue landed Noakes in trouble, with a complaint being lodged against him with the council.

He's now appearing before a professional conduct hearing in Cape Town.

North West University professor Salome Kruger said the advice Noakes gave to Pippa Leenstra on Twitter is problematic.

Kruger said Noakes failed to realise Leenstra was breastfeeding her newborn baby as she had stated in an initial tweet.

She said the only advice registered health practitioners should give mothers of infants is to breastfeed exclusively until the baby is six months old, with this advice supported by concrete evidence.

Earlier, another expert witness professor Esté Vorster said the latest South African dietary guidelines did not recommend the Banting diet for infants.