Basson inquiry fair, court hears

2013-11-14 14:07
Wouter Basson (Picture: AFP)

Wouter Basson (Picture: AFP)

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Pretoria - There was nothing unfair about a hearing into the professional conduct of Dr Wouter Basson, the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) said on Thursday.

"This is a fair hearing... There is no substance to the argument that it has been unfair and detrimental to Dr Wouter Basson," said Salie Joubert, for the HPCSA.

Joubert was presenting his closing arguments at the hearing.

Basson's defence team, led by Jaap Cilliers, had argued that the hearing had been delayed, to Basson's detriment, and that there had been an unfair administration of justice.

Joubert said this was incorrect.

"Dr Basson took more than 18 months before answering to the charges. The delays regarding these proceedings can be attributed to Basson."

Basson had also failed to raise the issue in previous proceedings and at the courts, he said.

"The issue is irrelevant and is brought at a stage when proceedings are about to end," said Joubert. The hearing began in 2007.

The charges against Basson arise from his involvement in the apartheid government's chemical and biological warfare programme in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Charges

He is accused of acting unethically by being involved in the large-scale production of Mandrax, cocaine and tear gas, of weaponising tear gas, and of supplying it to Angola's Unita leader Jonas Savimbi.

He is also accused of acting unethically by providing disorientating substances for cross-border kidnappings and by making cyanide capsules available for distribution to operatives for use in committing suicide.

In 2002, Basson was acquitted by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria of criminal charges arising from his conduct.

The HPCSA reviewed the judgment to establish if there were grounds to continue with an inquiry against Basson.

The State appealed the high court's decision in the Supreme Court of Appeal, but the appeal was dismissed.

The State then went to the Constitutional Court to appeal the decision. This was also dismissed in September 2005.



Read more on:    hpcsa  |  wouter basson

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