Wouter Basson inquiry enters 4th day

2011-09-29 09:20
Johannesburg - An inquiry into the alleged unethical conduct of cardiologist Wouter Basson will continue for the fourth day in Pretoria on Thursday.

On Wednesday, an American medical ethics expert maintained that Dr Wouter Basson's conduct as head of South Africa's apartheid-era chemical and biological warfare programme was unethical.

This was despite the fact that portions of his opinion were deleted after a ruling by a professional conduct committee of the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA).

The council concluded that expert witness Steven Miles could only rely on selected portions of Basson's evidence during his criminal trial, which ended in April 2002, and nothing more.

Criminal trial

Basson's advocate Jaap Cilliers pointed out that Miles had only been presented with about five percent of Basson's total evidence in his criminal trial.

Basson was acquitted on 46 charges, ranging from murder to drug dealing and fraud, more than nine years ago.

The HPCSA was investigating Basson’s conduct while he was head of the chemical and biological weapons programme.

According to the charge sheet, Basson manufactured Mandrax and ecstasy for the apartheid government.

The council was looking into six charges of unethical or unprofessional conduct relating to alleged human rights abuses Basson committed during the apartheid era. Charges were brought against him in 2007.

Earlier this week, the HPCSA decided not to proceed with some of the charges laid against Basson.

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.

Basson currently has a cardiology practice in Durbanville, Cape Town.

- SAPA
Read more on:    hpcsa  |  wouter basson
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