News24

Some charges against Wouter Basson dropped

2011-09-26 19:04

Pretoria - The Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) decided on Monday not to proceed with some of the charges laid against cardiologist Wouter Basson.

These included one relating to Basson accepting his appointment by the surgeon general of the SA Defence Force as the apartheid-era germ-warfare expert heading Project Coast.

The council also dropped the third charge and elements of the second one, spokesperson Lize Nel said in Pretoria.

Both relate to tests conducted on members of the special forces troops and the SA Police Task Force. The tests used substances such as Mandrax, ecstasy, an incapacitating agent BZ and teargas.

Nel said reasons for the withdrawal of these charges would be heard when an ethics expert gave testimony.

Basson now faces charges relating to his efforts to "weaponise" thousands of 120mm mortar bombs with teargas, make cyanide capsules available to operational officers for suicide and provide disorientation substances to tranquilise kidnapped people.

Charges against Basson were brought in 2007.

Basson arrived at the council accompanied by Jaap Cilliers, who represented him at the hearing previously.

Last year, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria dismissed an application by Basson that would have prevented the HPCSA from continuing the inquiry. Basson wanted the hearings to be found unlawful, unreasonable and unfair.

However, Judge Eberhard Bertelsmann reinforced a previous judgment that there was no indication the council's CEO Boyce Mkhize tried to influence the investigation into Basson.

The court ruled there was no reasonable evidence to suggest the council's professional conduct committee was prejudiced against the doctor. It found Basson's apparent fear to appear before the committee was unjustified.

Speaking to journalists during the break, Basson said he wanted to close that chapter of his life and continue helping his patients.

He has a cardiology practice in Durbanville, Cape Town.

Monday morning arguments centred around confidential documents containing information on deliberations between current Project Coast head Ben Steyn who took over from Basson in 1993, and his application to the HPCSA to research bio-chemical weapons.

Cilliers said the documents would help his team prepare for examination and could even favour his client.

He argued the defence required the documents "as a matter of fairness".

Pro-forma prosecutor Salie Joubert had argued that the contents of the documents had no bearing on the inquiry into Basson's professional conduct. He said the application to access the documents was intended to prolong proceedings.

However, Cilliers said the HPCSA had sent a letter refusing to hand over the documents. According to the letter doing so would prejudice the prosecution.

"There can be no better relevance than that," charged Cilliers. Steyn did not testify in-camera as expected on Monday afternoon. He wanted to first seek legal advice.

The hearing would continue at 09:00 on Tuesday.

Comments
  • crackerr - 2011-09-26 19:46

    Probably the one lesson in all this and other examples is that nobody must ever assume that they will be protected by the big brass or that the big brass will be man enough to take the punches. The surname Botha of those times come to mind. The small fry still in prison come to mind. Back to the lesson. You will be left all on your own. We saw the same nonsense with the brandy and coke AWB brigade. The stupid foot soldiers who landed in jail and still sit there. Think for example of the hundreds of thousands of Napoleon's fodder who were frozen to death by his ambitions. NEVER give up your independence of thought. It does not matter if it is clever or stupid. Just never follow others blindly or trust them.

      GT - 2011-09-26 19:51

      And love your country enough to know the difference betwee nationalism and patriotism.

      goobles - 2011-09-26 20:03

      And I assume you have used some of Dr Basson`s "notorious" substances before you commented on this article. LOL.

  • BigMoose - 2011-09-26 19:46

    Leave Dr. Basson alone. This is a complete waste of time and money.

      iqanda - 2011-09-26 20:22

      I agree, this is nothing but a witch hunt by the black racist ANC.

      dubbin - 2011-09-26 20:24

      I agree. This is a vendetta against Wouter Basson, and has nothing to do with ethics. He is one of the top cardiologists in the country and only wants to do his job and save lives. I have been a patient of his for the last five years and owe my life to him.

      iqanda - 2011-09-26 20:41

      Basson has saved more lives with his skills than mandela and yet mandela is treated like some kind of hero. Both were criminals of aparthied, killing innocent people. The problem with Basson is his skin colour, finish & klaar!!!!!!!!!

      Agwambo - 2011-09-26 21:40

      Dead right BigMoose neh - one of your kind; if it was Jackie Selebe, Malema or McBride, this forum would have been awash with hate mails. Funny neh? The judiciary in this country must change and change urgently..

      White Oak - 2011-09-27 08:07

      Agwambo, what is funny is this:http://mbokodo-quatro-uncensored.co.nr/ - and that is 'your kind' doing it to yourself - nobody ever charged for this!

      blacksonly - 2011-09-27 08:31

      @bigmoose, u been smoking crack. @iqanda, u r a real egg and yo idiocy is at extreme. i noted yo small letter "m" when writting Mandela and capital "B" with Basson. It shows yo unreasonable disrespect you have for the man. Just to remind u, the world respects Mandela with or without your dissaproval. U r nothing but a white thrash who still lives in the dark ages of apartheid. The unfortunate part is, that age is in your imagination and u r alone or at least with the few other scumbags such as "dubbin" and "whiteoak". Come out of there and smell the coffee. This has nothing to do with ANC. The recent time I checked I discovered that HPCSA is crowded with whites, for yo information.

      White Oak - 2011-09-27 11:08

      blacksonly...your very alias is racist, your English comprehension poor and 'yo Mamma' must be the village bicycle.See, I can do that too...you are here to debate, not insult!

  • Kevin King - 2011-09-26 19:59

    "Wit Armoede" on Kyknet (channel 111) tonight at 21:30

  • Showerhead - 2011-09-26 20:06

    I cannot see how they ever will convict him on charges laid! He followed orders from the then regime of who is nothing left. 67 charges were dismissed previously and now they want to make an example of him. The now regime cannot face defeat. What about those that got amnesty of crime they committed against innocent civilians? He is a brilliant surgeon who also operated on me and I am now a healthy person. Leave him alone to enable him to continue his good work.

      Warren - 2011-09-26 22:05

      @ Timmy: "He knows very well that with his past record no country in the world will want him." You are a proper tool!!! How many countries were prepared to commit murder to get their hands on as many nazi scientists as they could, after WW II??? Even those who had committed horrendous crimes against humanity. P.S. Your avatar suits you perfectly!

  • crackerr - 2011-09-26 20:23

    The Health Professions Council of SA is driving the proceedings against Basson. Far more dangerous are politicians. They administer their malice and short comings on a massive scale. Why are they not subjected to prosecution by something like a Politicians Council of SA? It is not the professional competence of Basson that is under scrutiny. Nobody doubts his professional competence. Basson's ethics are under examination. Why not have a politicians' ethical code and administered investigative process against politicians? Society needs to get its priorities right.

  • Ettiene - 2011-09-26 21:51

    Is this still going on... ???

  • Boetman - 2011-09-26 23:56

    Justice may be blind, but the whiter you are in SA, the harder the government tries to nail you.

  • Foxie911 - 2011-09-27 04:22

    If this present so-called 'government' had any scruples, Winnie Mandela and her followers should be in the dock for all the inhuman 'necklacing' murders of dissidents as well as the murder of Stompie Sepei, but being Winnie Mandela she is held in high esteem by ANC scum of the lowest order - murderous ANC scum who not only tortured and set dissidents alight here, but also look into the atrocities in Quatro camp where, among others, it was said Jacob Zuma beat inmates up until dead and was left standing in pools of blood... But nothing will come of such issues as the black perps consider themselves above the law in all respects, whereas Basson, being a white man, is automatically singled out for continued persecution, despite the fact that his so-called 'crimes' seldom affected the communist-trained enemies, namely the ANC and teir equals...

  • Webster - 2011-09-27 06:50

    Wouter Basson is an excellent cardiologist. Having said that what has happened to forgiveness? Seventeen years down the line the government are still attacking people. The HPCSA have had a case regarding misdiagnosis of my mentally challenged husband and I've heard nothing yet they waste so much time on Basson. Leave the man alone. He's apologised. Forgive him and move on. Put the money they're wasting to good use so that the rest of us can have our cases attended to. This is the problem with South Africa ... we're too busy hanging onto the past, picking it up every day, carrying it on our shoulders, determined not to forgive and leave the past in the past. When we do we'll move on.

  • robin - 2011-09-27 08:08

    Since when is Basson the only germ warfare "criminal". This type of warfare has been going on for many, many years. I am amazed at how many people always say they knew nothing of the previous regime. ALL South Africans were in one way or another involved in the fight, no matter the side taken at the time. National servicemen, campers, PF's, dankie tannies, freedon fighters, SAPS, everyone. Not all to the same extent maybe but involved none the less. Surely it is time to forgive and forget!

  • Tolerant - 2011-09-27 08:34

    "Changing bombs into teargas"? He should rather get a medal for that - saving lives. Rather take those to court that let people die.

  • Jannie Swem - 2011-09-27 08:39

    Dr Basson is an excellent doctor, and saved my Grandmothers life, he has given her a new life. I have met him and the "dr death" moniker is not deserved. A highly intelligent man who has saved countless lives over the last 20 years

      blacksonly - 2011-09-27 09:33

      Dr Basson is an EXCELLENT DOCTOR,the products he manufactured killed dozens of my brothers and sisters. And he saved Jannie's grandmother and that makes him an "Excellent Doctor". Leave him alone:) HAHAHAHAHAHA

  • blacksonly - 2011-09-27 08:40

    If Mr. Basson have been in breach of medical ethics, he must face the consequences. If not, let the man continue with his proffesion and contibute to the quest of saving lives. All in all, let the proceedings go ahead and the matter heard fairly and truthfully.

      Agwambo - 2011-09-27 20:30

      I said exactly what you wrote blacksonly and guess what? my post was deleted. This guy should be charged for genocide against blacks whom he massacred using them as guinea pigs

  • a.bryanh - 2011-09-27 21:35

    This is all about vengeance nothing else,all countries regardless of their denials do the same,look at the bombing of Libya to save lives?unadulterated lies from western countries,and little said re this by eastern countries, how thick skinned are these countries to even comment on Basson

  • alex - 2011-09-30 08:27

    I wonder how more dangerous the program would have been without a doctor there?

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