Trial evidence dismissed in Basson case

2013-07-15 19:26

Pretoria - Evidence presented by Cape Town cardiologist Wouter Basson during his criminal trial will not be used in the hearing investigating his alleged unethical behaviour, the Health Professionals Council of SA ruled on Monday.

"It is ruled that ... should not be allowed in order to maintain consistency with previous rulings, consideration of fairness, and in order not to allow anything that will unduly protract the scope of the inquiry," said Prof Jannie Hugo, chair of the HPCSA's professional conduct committee.

The hearing is into the charges of unethical conduct brought by the HPCSA against Basson before its professional conduct committee.

Salie Joubert SC, representing the HPCSA, told the hearing he would use evidence presented by Basson in his criminal case and at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He said he would also use this evidence during the cross-examination of Basson’s witness Dr Niel Knobel.

Basson’s legal team objected, arguing this would delay proceedings, as this evidence was contained in a document of over 1 000 pages.

The team argued that bringing such evidence would also not be fitting to the scope of the hearing. This was echoed by the chair's legal adviser, retired judge Frikkie Eloff.

The hearing adjourned and a few minutes later Hugo presented his ruling.

The charges arise from Basson’s [alleged] 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 teargas, of weaponising teargas, and of supplying it to Angola's Unita leader Jonas Savimbi.

Acting unethically

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

In 2002, Basson was acquitted by the [Gauteng North] 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 decision of the high court in the Supreme Court of Appeal, but the appeal was dismissed.

The State then went to the Constitutional Court to appeal the decision. That was also dismissed in September 2005.

In 2006, the HPCSA started its own process of investigating Basson’s conduct. A charge sheet was drawn up and the inquiry began in November 2007. However, the inquiry was delayed when the HPCSA’s main expert witness fell ill. The inquiry resumed again in September 2008.

During the November 2008 hearing, Basson’s legal team argued that the case brought against him was unlawful and biased.

Basson’s legal team then went to the [Gauteng North] High Court in Pretoria to stop the inquiry. The matter was heard in the high court only in 2010. The court dismissed Basson’s application in May 2010.

The next month, Basson appealed the decision in the same court, but lost.

The hearing then resumed officially in September 2011.

In January 2012, Basson brought another application before the HPCSA's professional conduct committee to dismiss the matter.

However, Basson’s application was dismissed.

The hearing continues on Tuesday.

  • Charles Frederik Robberts - 2013-07-15 20:24

    Hang in there Dr Wouter,you did nothing wrong!

  • Mpho L Mashegoane - 2013-07-15 20:37

    The war crimes court is made for black leaders and muslims

  • Karl Kat - 2013-07-15 21:10

    Wouter Basson is a very good cardiologist. Leave him alone, he saved many lives up and until today of all races. If they want to take him down then the same applies to McBride the Mangoos bar bomber who is a embarresment

      Thabang Danté Matlou - 2013-07-16 10:49


  • Marysia Vieira - 2013-07-15 22:26

    30 years on and disciplinary action still needs to be done? surely the Truth & Reconciliation Committee resolved this. The HPCSA a rather very late in their investigation & disciplinary action outdated. Dr. Basson did what he was ordered and expected to do under the previous government for which none of those who gave the order were ever brought to book. The HPCSA should be looking at the good Dr. Basson has done over the last 30 years and let the past rest so that we can all move forward. Lots of people died and lots of people are still dying today. Dr. Basson has to live with his conscience now. Let sleeping dogs lie.

  • Amatambo - 2013-07-15 22:50

    Seems the present so-bcalled 'government" and its minions are grimly determined to continue digging dirt against Wouter, but they very conveniently overlook real killers like Mandela, McBride, Zuma, Mbeki and their ilk, or was/is it acceptable to place bombs in places where civilians are killed and maimed, and add to that, the over 400 anti-ANC dissidents who were brutally murdered in the most savage and barbaric way by means of 'necklacing?' Nah - Basson is white, therefore he must be found guilty in some way, while all the 'struggle-heroes' walk free to continue the orgy of crime and corruption that is now so rife in this once peaceful and prosperous country???

      Al Loots - 2013-07-16 10:11

      Have to applaud you with a slow clap ... Many conveniently forget these gnawing issues. Thank you.

  • Jimmy Kotze - 2013-07-15 22:59

    Kan die regering nie hardwerkende mense wat lewens red elke dag aleen los nie?

      Jimmy Mashimbye - 2013-07-16 01:18

      jimmy i dn't understand your comment.can you be specific

  • Mohaola Keke - 2013-07-15 22:59

    where are the victims

  • Jan Van der Walt - 2013-07-16 03:48

    I wonder how many real criminals could have been prosecuted with the vast amounts of money that were wasted in this matter from the beginning? The professional enquiry is necessary, but I hope that on its conclusion this matter is put to rest.

  • Kholofelo Pila - 2013-07-16 06:53

    it's not about the money, but justice. He took orders which were against doctors ethics, and he now hides behind a fact that he was following orders!! Braai him for his half truths at the useless TRC

      Johan van Heerden - 2013-07-16 08:40

      Kholofelo - by your reasoning Robert McBride and all the other cowards that planted bombs should also be prosecuted

      Thabang Danté Matlou - 2013-07-16 10:57

      @Johan.. its not the same, blacks were just retaliating :)

  • Andre James - 2013-07-16 07:11

    This racist, sadist, bigot and mass murderer ranks right up there with the Nazi's. If he did not have all the info to blackmail the former SADF Generals he would have been served up for the ANC a long time ago.

      Johan van Heerden - 2013-07-16 08:42

      Andre James and what about Robert McBride and all the others who planted bombs? What about all the "comrades" that were murdered in camps like Quottro?

      Al Loots - 2013-07-16 09:49

      Tsk tsk tsk. Hypocrisy is rife. How old are you. If older than 20 years it could be argued that you benefited from apartheid. Was any of your family or you conscripted into the then SADF or SAP? What role did your people play in apartheid? There seems to be very few that can argue they did not benefit somehow from how the security forces back then ensured your continued existence under apartheid. Strange how we forget this man had his day in court and yes, what about the 32 high ranking ANC officials that never testified at the TRC. Nice to be so selective.

      Amatambo - 2013-07-16 11:12

      Mass murderer, Andre? How many people did he kill? Millions, like all you uninformed, brainwashed idiots like to believe when there is no hard evidence - only what the communist-controlled media publish and what morons like you believe without bothering to do some homework, research and realise how the MSM, controlled by liberals, lie to you every day??? I despair because my people are so gullible and uninformed...

  • Johan van Heerden - 2013-07-16 08:38

    We will keep on trying you in any way UNTIL you are found GUILTY!!!!!! This seems to be the motto with this endless pursuit of this man

  • Kholofelo Pila - 2013-07-16 09:11

    what I heard was that the resistance fighters targeted state installation but not the civilians. if some elements went over that declaration, then they should be prosecuted. So I am saying that whoever was killing civilians should be prosecuted, more so if he didn't make a full disclosure at the TRC compromise.

      Johan van Heerden - 2013-07-16 09:51

      Kholfelo last time I looked a Wimpy was and still is not a STATE institution, Nor is Magoo's in Durban , NOR is the Checkers in Amanzimtoti, nor is the St James Church. The MK "brave soldiers"" were too scared to attack the SADF head on so they rather resorted to civilian targets

      Al Loots - 2013-07-16 10:03

      Will that include Thabo Mbeki and the 31(?) others who applied for amnesty at the end of the hearings. When the TRC were rapping up and virtually broke, yet never testified? Whilst the rule was that if you applied for amnesty for ''gross human rights violations'', you had to appear if you wished to receive amnesty? Mm, makes you wonder.

      Al Loots - 2013-07-16 10:07

      Johan is quite correct. Back then these ''brave soldiers'' targeted soft targets. Maybe you should listen less and go read more.

  • Gary Immelman - 2013-07-16 09:44

    This is nothing more than a witch hunt aimed at harming one of the finest medical men in the country. Think of all the good work Dr Basson could have produced had he not been tied up in never-ending court cases

  • Gary Immelman - 2013-07-16 09:44

    This is nothing more than a witch hunt aimed at harming one of the finest medical men in the country. Think of all the good work Dr Basson could have produced had he not been tied up in never-ending court cases

  • Ena Diedericks - 2013-07-18 02:13

    To me, a great atrocity just wiped under the carpet, was the necklacing that went on in the Townships before the ANC came into power. Nobody says a word about that these days.

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