Basson hearing continues

2012-03-28 08:47

Pretoria - Apartheid era germ warfare expert Wouter Basson will appear before the Health Professions Council of SA again on Wednesday, to answer to four remaining charges of unprofessional and unethical conduct.

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

Salie Joubert, acting as pro forma complainant, on Tuesday hammered Basson with questions about his involvement in the project as a medical doctor.

Joubert accused Basson of lying to the commission in his plea explanation, in which he said all drugs manufactured by the project were for research purposes and were never used in combat situations.

Basson was accused of telling half truths about the reasons why then President Nelson Mandela had decided to re-employ him as a civilian in the Defence Force in 1995.

He said the reason was because the American and British governments had regarded him as a threat and wanted to employ him as a chemical and biological warfare consultant to contain him.

Joubert put it to him that the Americans and British feared that Basson would supply information to the Libyans and had asked Mandela to restrict Basson's movements, but that Mandela had refused because he had fought restrictions his whole life.

  • Matimu - 2012-03-28 10:20

    His "decentness" and the good doings doesn't justifies his evilness.May he follow the path he had created for for the unfortunate people especially during apartheid era.His goodness can never compensate for his crimes against humanity.Nothing but hell awaits for "Dr Death" and his associates...

      Adino - 2012-03-28 11:05

      I am a non-white South African & i totally disagree with your statements. The point of the TRC was to expose the atrocities that occurred during the struggle era & forgive ALL involved in those crimes & move forward in the spirit of true forgiveness. It is not our place to say one person is more guilty than the next. Robert Mcbride & others killed whites in the fight for democracy & Basson also was involved in atrocities. Today Robert & Mandela & many other have been re-introduced into society. Basson did what he did in following instructions from an oppresive government. My personal views aside - in keeping with the theme of reconciliation, he should have every right to be forgiven his past & be allowed to become a productive member of society. It should be your right to go to him for medical assistance or not but not your right to determine if he should be a doctor

      Matimu - 2012-03-28 13:12

      I fail to understand how race relates to Dr Death's actions.Im of the belief that he studied whatever he studied in order to help humanity not to destroy them.The fact that he was never forced to involve himself in those crimes clearly shows that he had other interests rather than helping people of which could be the case today should he be granted his medical certificate to practice.He should just continue to practice evilness without a certificate.....

  • Manu - 2012-03-28 11:41

    I really don't get why some here are complaining. Why shouldn't society have an interest in the ethical background of a person practising the profession of medicine? The issue here is not reconciliation but rather ethics. Suppose for a moment that the man was engaged in torture and other kinds of atrocities and that he received amnesty. You want to tell me that as a patient of his you won't think, "Will he be ethical in treating me?" If you can accept that this is a reasonable question then you also have to appreciate why the Health Professional Council expects a high standard of ethics from its members. Why should Basson be treated any differently just because he took orders during apartheid. If anything his inability to exercise his own good judgement in this matter shows he is ethically compromised.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-03-28 12:15

    Any attempt to bar Mr. Basson from practicing must be seen as the racially motivated attack it is, if Dr. Basson is guilty of any of the charges brought against him so are every single doctor who has worked for any military research and development agency anywhere in the world, including every doctor currently working for the military or military supplier in this country today.

      Sizwe - 2012-03-28 13:14

      @Ludlow. You are lost. The issue is not who employed him but what he did when he was employed there and his duty and ethical standing as a medical practitioner in relation to his conduct.

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