Noakes 'holds forth'
Banting guru Tim Noakes was accused of turning his misconduct hearing into a lecture and a book promotion yesterday.
Advocate Ajay Bhoopchand, acting for the former president of the Association of Dieticians in SA Claire Julsing-Strydom, told the Health Professions Council of SA: "I cannot see how lecture after lecture without a clear link of the content of the lecture and actual charge is relevant. This is giving [Noakes] free rein to express himself in a legal forum."
But the committee dismissed the objection. Chairman Joan Adams said: "As simple as a charge sheet may appear it is a complex matter. There are so many aspects to this matter."
Noakes, who has been presenting evidence since Wednesday, is accused of unprofessional conduct after he provided "unconventional advice on breast-fed babies on social networks".
During his testimony yesterday Noakes spoke about his Twitter activity, his books and research on low carbs versus high carbs.
He pointed out that none of the members of the preliminary committee were on Twitter.
"I answer the areas that I consider myself an expert in and I leave the rest to everyone else. [Twitter] is a discussion ... I am not here bashing the floor saying everyone must eat a high-fat diet," he said.
One of his books, Lore of Running, written in 1985, is regarded as the ninth-greatest running book of all time. Noakes wrote it to help his father understand his love for running. He said he would "tear out the chapter on nutrition" now because it recommended eating carbs.
Noakes told the committee his father was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the age of 66.
"Within six years he lost his foot and within eight years lost his leg and lost his mind from the disease. It is not just personal [to me]. Diabetes is the biggest challenge that we face in the world.
"There are 300000 diabetics in the Western Cape. At this moment one of them is losing his or her leg. What are we doing about it, that is the question."
The HPCSA has until this afternoon to give Noakes reasons why the preliminary committee decided to charge him.