HPCSA files answering papers in Basson bid

2015-01-21 12:32
Wouter Basson (File, Lisa Hnatowicz, Beeld)

Wouter Basson (File, Lisa Hnatowicz, Beeld)

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Pretoria - The Health Professions Council of SA filed answering affidavits in the North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday in an application by apartheid-era warfare chemical expert Wouter Basson.

He wants to remove two members of the HPCSA committee sentencing him for unprofessional conduct.

The HPCSA's lawyers arrived after 10:00 to file the affidavits.

The matter is scheduled to be heard before Judge Bert Bam on Thursday at 11:00.

Basson secured an interdict on Monday, stopping his hearing at the HPCSA offices in Pretoria.

The cardiologist wants information on the HPCSA's professional conduct committee's chairperson Prof Jannie Hugo and Prof Eddie Mahlangu. He wants to determine if they are members of any organisations that endorsed a petition calling for his removal from the register of medical practitioners.

Petition signed

Basson wants Hugo and Mahlangu to be prohibited from proceeding with the sentencing pending finalisation of their recusal application.

On Monday, the first day of sentencing proceedings, Basson and his counsel Jaap Cilliers walked out to lodge the high court application.

Cilliers said the defence had information that Hugo signed a petition calling for Basson to be struck from the medical practitioners' register.

Basson was found guilty of unprofessional conduct by the HPCSA in December 2013, following an eight-year long inquiry.

The HPCSA inquiry was held to determine whether Basson acted unethically during his work on the apartheid government's chemical and biological weapons project, Project Coast, during the 1980s and early 1990s.

In his defence, Basson claimed he acted as a soldier and not a doctor.

Basson was accused of acting unethically by being involved in the large-scale production of Mandrax, cocaine and teargas, of weaponising teargas, and of supplying it to Angola's Unita leader Jonas Savimbi.

Acquitted by high court

He was accused of acting unethically by providing disorientating substances for cross-border kidnappings and making cyanide capsules available for distribution to operatives for use in suicides.

In 2002, Basson was acquitted by the North Gauteng High Court of criminal charges arising from his conduct.

The HPCSA reviewed the judgment to establish if there were grounds to hold an inquiry. The State appealed against the decision of the high court in the Supreme Court of Appeal, but the appeal was dismissed.

The State then went to the Constitutional Court, but that case was dismissed in September 2005.

Read more on:    hpcsa  |  wouter basson  |  pretoria

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