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Analysts call on SAMRC to drop probe into Glenda Gray

Health Department director general Anban Pillay has called on SAMRC to probe Gray’s comments about government’s response to COVID-19.

FILE: Dr Glenda Gray. Picture: samrc.co.za

JOHANNESBURG - There are calls for the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) to drop an investigation into the conduct of its president, Glenda Gray.

It was reported on Monday on News24 that SAMRC’s board barred Gray from commenting on the matter in the media.

Earlier, Department of Health director general Anban Pillay has called on the SAMRC to probe Gray’s comments about government’s response to COVID-19.

Gray criticised aspects of government’s response to the pandemic, claiming that it was not based on scientific evidence.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize responded by saying her views were false, which included that there was a spike in malnutrition cases at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

Wits vice-chancellor Adam Habib said this move was a mistake.

“The minister did respond very firmly and there he sided the story. It seems to me the matter should have ended there. To then do a witch-hunt and to try and pick up dirt on the individual is completely over the top,” Habib said.

While political analyst Lesiba Teffo said the investigation was regrettable.

“I find the whole saga immensely regrettable, especially when the board enters the fray. Their decision and conduct will not pass the test of rationality in a court of law in South Africa if they were to be challenged,” Teffo said.

Gray clarified her remarks were based on some of the regulations and not the nationwide lockdown.

LISTEN: SAMRC apologises for Glenda Gray's comments

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.