The Sunday Times has served court papers on Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang's lawyers in response to her application to silence any comment on her medical records, reports Independent Online.

The newspaper's attorney Eric van den Berg said the newspaper served the papers to their opponents on Tuesday afternoon but the papers would probably only be filed in the Johannesburg High Court on Wednesday morning.

The minister is seeking to prevent the paper from commenting on or publishing any further on her health records relating to her 2005 stay in hospital.

Last week the court ordered that the Sunday Times had until close of business on Tuesday to file answering applications.

Van den Berg said earlier: "We are filing papers to say why they're not entitled to get an interdict as wide ranging as they have sought."

All records and any references to Tshabalala-Msimang, her hospitalisation, treatment and medical status also had to be deleted from reporters' notebooks and personal laptop computers.

Tshabalala-Msimang is also applying to interdict the newspaper from gaining unauthorised access to any of her other confidential records, he said.

On August 12, the paper published that according to her medical records [a copy of which the paper had obtained] the minister had been drinking alcohol while at the Cape Town Medi-Clinic for a shoulder operation in 2005.

On Friday, the court ordered that the newspaper had to return all copies of the minister's medical records to her.

One copy would be kept in a safety deposit box at a Standard Bank branch under the joint control of both parties.

In an affidavit submitted to court on Friday, the newspaper's deputy managing-editor Susan Smuts said the newspaper wanted to keep a copy of the medical records in the event of it being sued.

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