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Prof Patrick Lekgwara – The President-Elect for the Society of Neurosurgeons of South Africa

Head of the Neurosurgery Department at SMU, Professor Patrick Lekgwara, was recently appointed to serve as the President-Elect for the Society of Neurosurgeons of South Africa (SNSA). Prof Lekgwara will act in this position of President-Elect for two years, then serve as President and Chairperson of the Society for another two years and then succeed as Past President for a further two years. The constitutional obligation allows him to automatically serve for six consecutive years. This line of succession is intended to promote long-term stability and continuity in the SNSA’s leadership.

The SNSA was established to promote the practice of neurosurgery and interests allied to define the relationships relating to its mission which fosters optimal care for patients with neurosurgical disorders, through life, education, research, advocacy, and ethical practice. His vision as the President-Elect aligns with the objectives of SNSA.

His primary duties as President-Elect include to assist the President upon delegation by the latter and to prepare for ascendance to the Presidency. Upon delegation by the President, he shall be fully authorized to act as directed. He may serve as a liaison to other professional or learned societies on direction by the President. He shall also serve on the Executive Committee of SNSA.

“In the absence of the President or in the event of his inability to act, I shall perform the duties. While acting as President, I will have all the powers and be subject to all the restrictions. I will serve a term of two years and automatically accede to the Presidency of this Society at the last business session of the general meeting. If I assume the duties of a disabled President, he shall then accede and complete his term as President,” explains Prof Lekgwara.

He further explained that the objectives of the SNSA is to improve the quality of scientific knowledge and pursue lofty standards of excellence in patient care, clinical practice, and related sciences among professionals in the field of neurosurgery. He said they maintain an educational organization dedicated to the exchange of ideas and dissemination of scientific facts in the field of neurosurgery. They provide instruction, scientific meetings, and professional publications for surgical, non-operative and diagnostic purposes in neurosurgery.

SNSA also seeks to improve communication and provide support for Neurosurgeons and clinicians and to help improve their work; investigate and promulgate concepts and methods by which neurosurgical conditions may be detected and treated; maintain the highest ethical standards for the organization and full communication and interaction with other recognized bodies and speciality associations; strive for acceptable and equitable practise conditions and remuneration for those practising in neurosurgery, amongst others,” indicated Lekgwara, who is also the Chairperson of Post- graduate Examination Committee of the School of Medicine at SMU.

He served SNSA for the past twenty years in the following positions:

  • President-Elect, from 2023 to date.
  • Secretary, from 2018 to 2023.
  • Treasurer, from 2012 to 2018.
  • Member of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) Congress Organizing Committee 2023.
  • Member of the 21st Biennial Congress Organizing Committee 2009-2010.
  • Secretary of 18th Biennial Congress Organizing Committee 2003-2004.

In conclusion Prof Lekgwara stated that according to the HPCSA register, South Africa has more than 300 qualified neurosurgeons, and lauds SMU for being the nerve centre of producing more Black neurosurgeons.

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