Salazaar Plain‚ a small street next to the newly built Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital could soon be renamed in honor of Hamilton Naki.
Naki was the medical assistant of Dr. Christian Barnaard, the doctor who performed the world’s first heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital in 1967.
Not much has been told about the life and work of Naki.
Professor Anwar Mall, senior scholar at UCT, says Naki was an extra ordinary man and it's sad that history focuses on the big names forgetting the real heroes who do extra ordinary things in their communities.
He says Naki's name was tarnished and he made it clear that Naki was not a medical doctor and he did not perform any procedures on human beings.
His contribution was in the preparation and research of the big transplant which took them years before the historic moment.
After he died all the big papers misquoted the facts and UCT had to respond to them.— Professor Anwar Mall, Senior scholar at UCT
His enormous contribution to surgical research was undermined and that is so unfortunate.— Professor Anwar Mall, Senior scholar at UCT
Listen to Prof Anwar explain the real story of Hamilton Naki:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Scholar lauds Hamilton Naki for his contribution to first heart transplant