The Cape Town Medi-Clinic is once again in possession of Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang's health records, albeit only a copy, writes Karyn Maughan in Cape Times.

On Thursday morning The Sunday Times morning gave the clinic its copy of the records of the minister's stay there in 2005 – during which the newspaper has alleged she consumed alcohol and abused her position – government and other sources have confirmed.

The newspaper is understood to have ensured that its only copy was given to the clinic.

The minister and Medi-Clinic company, meanwhile, have filed an urgent application with the Johannesburg High Court for an order against the Sunday Times.

According to court papers, the minister, who is seeking court redress in her personal capacity and not as a member of the cabinet, is seeking the return of her medical records and a prohibition on the publication of further reports or comments about her medical condition.

The papers say the respondents had until 3pm on Thursday to oppose the application and 6pm to file answering affidavits. It is understood the respondents had filed nothing by 6pm.

Tshabalala-Msimang's application is to be heard by Justice Winton Msimeki this morning.

On Wednesday, the Cape Town Medi-Clinic filed a complaint of theft with the police, saying the minister's medical records had been removed illegally from its secure archives.

It no longer had any of her records.

Neither the newspaper nor the medi-clinic could be reached for comment late on Thursday.

The minister wants the court to order the Sunday Times to destroy – under the oversight of her lawyers – any reference to the records in the notebooks or computers of any of its employees.

In her affidavit, Tshabalala- Msimang says various terms of the National Health Act have been violated.

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