‘I’m no Dr Death’ — Dhlomo

2014-01-31 00:00

KZN Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo yesterday accused civil rights organisation AfriForum of racism for lodging an “unprofessional and unethical conduct” complaint against him with the Health Profession Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

His comments came as the HPCSA yesterday announced it would not pursue the investigation for fear of contravening provisions of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act.

The act helped Dhlomo acquire indemnity before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for his planting of bombs while a cadre of Mkhonto weSizwe (MK) and practising as a doctor. However, Afri­forum said it would appeal this “wrong” decision and present new evidence.

HPCSA spokesperson Lize Nel said any incriminating evidence obtained from a person who appeared before and was indemnified by the TRC was not admissible in criminal proceedings in a court of law or before a legal body.

Nel said that in order to prove on “a balance of probabilities” that Dhlomo and former surgeon-general Vejaynand Ramlakan, included in the AfriForum complaint, were guilty of unprofessional conduct, the council would have to rely on the commission’s transcripts. “Relying on these transcripts will be a contravention of subsection 3 of Section 31 of the act. The council will not be able to investigate and prosecute this complaint without simultaneously contravening the stated provisions of the act,” Nel said.

Afriforum CEO Kallie Kriel said the decision was the wrong interpretation of the law and that their complaint was not a criminal procedure. “Even if they are right, there is other evidence which we will be making available. We are confident that we have a case,” Kriel said, adding that their lawyers were instructed to appeal the decision.

Dhlomo told the media of the HPCSA decision at a press conference yesterday. “If a person was granted amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission it meant they could not be prosecuted for those acts for which they had provided full disclosure before the TRC,” Dhlomo told journalists in Durban.

He said it was unfortunate that AfriForum was blinded in its pursuit of publicity and had failed to research his role as a MK soldier and what it meant.

“Being a soldier of the ANC’s military wing, one did not rely on medical expertise, but rather an over-riding sense of justice to fight against atrocities committed by a brutal and racist system against the majority of its citizens based on racial divide,” Dhlomo said.

The AfriForum complaint was lodged after the HPCSA found apartheid-era warfare expert Dr Wouter Basson guilty of unprofessional conduct last December. Dubbed Dr Death, Basson headed up a secret chemical and biological warfare project in the SA defence force.

Yesterday, Dhlomo, who served six years of a 10-year sentence for his actions, said: “I did not use my medical profession or expertise in perpetuating any atrocities against South Africans, which is completely opposite to Wouter Basson.”

Dlhomo said Basson had used his medical training and knowledge to wage his part of the struggle with. “Those atrocities were committed by … a soldier trained as a medical doctor and he used [the medical] knowledge he had, to do what he did,” Dhlomo charged.

Dhlomo questioned Afriforum’s failure to lodge complaints against those who committed gruesome acts against “our people”, including military officers and retired generals. “Is this because those perpetrators are not from a targeted party or racial group? The attack by Afriforum on my integrity smacks of racism and I challenge them to prove otherwise,” Dhlomo said.

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