Basson joined defence after university - lawyer

2013-11-15 15:25
(Shutterstock [http://www.shutterstock.com/])

(Shutterstock [http://www.shutterstock.com/])

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - Cardiologist Dr Wouter Basson had only just started his medical career when he was asked to be part of the apartheid government's secret chemical warfare programme, his lawyer said on Friday.

"He was someone who had joined the defence [force] after university," said Advocate Jaap Cilliers.

"He was about to study further in order to specialise when he was approached by the... then surgeon general to take over as project officer."

Cilliers was presenting his closing arguments at a six-year long misconduct hearing in Pretoria against Basson initiated by the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA).

Cilliers said it was important to not view the matter with an "armchair approach".

South Africa was involved in very serious conflict where people, in and outside the country, died and others were injured daily.

Committee chair Jannie Hugo said evidence showed Basson held a senior position when some of the decisions were taken.

"That is not a picture of a young doctor. It is a picture of a mature physician with years of experience," said Hugo.

Committee member Judge Frikkie Eloff said according to the evidence, Basson's alleged activities began in the 1980s and lasted until the 1990s.

Cilliers said Basson had already testified that he did not remember when some of the alleged transgressions happened, who the targets were, or who gave the orders.

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

Basson 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 rebel leader Jonas Savimbi.

He is also accused of acting unethically by providing disorientating substances for cross-border kidnappings, and 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 him.

Read more on:    hpcsa  |  wouter basson

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
14 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.