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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

versão On-line ISSN 2078-5135
versão impressa ISSN 0256-9574

SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. vol.113 no.2 Pretoria Fev. 2023




Ismail Ahmed Motala (1937 - 2022)



Dr Ismail Ahmed Motala passed away at home surrounded by his loving family on 20 February 2022 at the age of 84. His loss leaves an enormous void in the lives of his family, friends and patients. He was born in July 1937 and was one of 10 brothers, five of whom became medical doctors with a significant cumulative impact on the people of South Africa. He qualified at the University of Natal Medical School and spent 52 years in general practice, serving the community of Tongaat and surrounding areas.

He was passionate about patient care and had an incredible work ethic, practising until the age of 84. Dr Motala was a gentle individual who truly cared about patients and their families. He became part of the lives of his patients, treating them with respect and dignity and taking pride in their achievements. He was meticulous in his patient management, and his ethics were beyond question. He always kept up to date with the latest trends and developments in medicine, and his evenings and weekends were often spent reading medical journals and attending courses and conferences. His long-standing successful medical partnership is a testament to his engaging and warm personality.

He exemplified the ethos of the family practitioner and had an intimate knowledge of the circumstances and family backgrounds of his patients. As a father and grandfather, he embodied the values of humility, patience, humour and kindness that were a hallmark of his practice. During the last year of his life, he lost both his eldest son and his grandson. His dignified grieving strengthened those around him and gave courage and consolation to everyone.

Dr Motala was an exceptional person who balanced his profession with a wide range of interests including languages, poetry, travel and reading. He was a devoutly religious person who respected all and was never judgemental. His charitable work included the treatment of indigent patients, and he was a generous contributor to many charitable organisations.

He is survived by his loving wife Mariam, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. His was a life which was truly well lived. May God grant him the highest stages of paradise and give his family sublime patience.

Dr A I Motala

Specialist anatomical pathologist, Dr AI Motala Laboratories, Durban, South Africa

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