So last night I was having some quality time with my children and their mother...Chinese take-aways and 2 DVD's.
One of the films was called Repo Men,a SciFi movie set in a dystopian future in which artificial organs,-including lungs and livers and hearts and even neural networks,-,can be bought privately.
It was rubbish to be honest....within 2 minutes you will know how it ends...it was overlong,frankly quite tedious and we skipped through large parts of it.
And naturally our conversation turned to organ transplants in general,particularly given the airplane crash at Birmingham Airport on Friday when a courier flight delivering a liver crashed on touch down.
And then my darling daughter asked me if I had heard about the transplant scandal at St Augustine Hospital in KwaZulu ...of course I hadn't...
Netcare, South Africa's leading private hospital group, its chief executive, and five top Durban doctors have been criminally charged for their alleged roles in an international kidneys-for-sale syndicate.
According to the charge sheet, the 11 accused were involved in an "illegal scheme" to give kidney transplants to wealthy Israelis, using organs donated by poor Brazilians, Romanians and Israelis.
Israeli citizens in need of kidney transplants would be brought to South Africa for transplants at StAugustine's Hospital. They paid kidney suppliers for these operations . [the kidneys] were initially sourced from Israeli citizens, but later Romanian and Brazilian citizens were recruited as their kidneys were obtainable at a much lower cost than those of the Israeli suppliers," the charge sheet states.
Recipients are alleged to have paid between R700000 and R850000 to arrange a kidney transplant in South Africa."
The Israeli kidney suppliers were paid approximately $20000 [R141000].
Later, cheaper suppliers were sourced among Romanian and Brazilian citizens, who were paid, on average, about $6000 [R42000] for their kidneys," the state alleges.