Basson shifted blame - health council

2013-11-14 18:48
(Picture: Foto24)

(Picture: Foto24)

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

Pretoria - Dr Wouter Basson shifted the blame in his evidence before an inquiry into his conduct, the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) said on Thursday.

"Dr... Basson presented distorted evidence and shifted the blame," said Salie Joubert, for the HPCSA.

Basson is the former head of the apartheid government’s secret chemical and biological warfare project.

Expert evidence by Professor Steven Haverstock Miles, an expert in medical ethics called on by the HPCSA, showed the extent of unethical conduct by Basson, said Joubert.

Joubert read out portions of Miles's evidence, in which he said: "Dr Basson was not merely a weapons producer. He also took these weapons, prepared them for specific battle use, went to the battle side with weapons of his own design and oversaw the military use in violation of the Geneva 1925 Protocol or at least his obligations within that framework."

Joubert said Basson had a selective memory and had contradicted himself.

He said it was unfortunate that former surgeon general General Daniel Pieter Knobel got involved in the matter.

Knobel testified for the defence as an expert and also gave evidence about his involvement in Project Coast at the time that he headed the SA Medical Services.

Project Coast was a secret biological and chemical warfare research project during the apartheid years. Basson was the project officer.

"Gen[eral] Knobel's evidence cannot be relied on. It is such a tragedy and unfortunate that Knobel rejected the principles of his profession," said Joubert.

Apartheid government

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

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

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
37 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
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.