Wouter Basson hearing postponed

2012-09-25 11:02

The hearing of Wouter Bassson, which was due to resume in Pretoria today, has been postponed by the disciplinary committee of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

Basson, who headed the apartheid government’s chemical and biological warfare research unit between 1981 and 1993, is being tried for the role he had played in manufacturing poisonous substances that were used to fight “enemies of the state” during the apartheid era.

He is facing three charges relating to unethical conduct.

The committee postponed the hearing because retired judge Frikkie Eloff, who acts as an assessor, was absent because of ill-health.

It also emerged that Basson’s key witness, General Daniel (Niel) Knobel, had been hospitalised for a heart operation.

HPCSA spokesperson Lize Nel said: “The matter has been postponed to December to allow Eloff and Knobel to recover.”

However, she said, “the committee and different counsels will be meeting in October to discuss if Eloff will be able to continue as the assessor when the hearing resumes in December”.

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