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Wouter Basson's sentencing postponed again

Ina Skosana

The HPCSA has announced that the sentencing of "Doctor Death", the former head of the apartheid government's chemical programme, has been postponed.

Former head of the apartheid government's chemical and biological programme Wouter Basson. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The sentencing of former head of the apartheid government’s chemical and biological programme Wouter Basson has been postponed for a second time until further notice. 

In December 2013, Health Professions Council of South Africa’s (HPCSA’s) professional conduct committee found Basson guilty of unprofessional and unethical conduct during his time as head of Project Coast in 1980s. 

Basson’s sentencing was initially set for Thursday and Friday this week, but on Wednesday morning the HPCSA announced that the sentencing was postponed “due to the unavailability Dr Basson’s legal counsel”.  

“A new sentencing date will be announced as soon as it has been set,” the HPCSA said in a statement. Initially, Basson’s sentencing was set for February but was postponed to June “due to the unavailability of both legal counsels”.  

Basson, who has a private cardiology practise in Cape Town, was found guilty of co-ordinating the production and stockpiling of mandrax, ecstasy and teargas “on a major scale”.  

Dubbed “Doctor Death” he was also found guilty of providing “disorientating substances used for over border kidnapping” and supplying cyanide capsules to operational officers to use to commit suicide in case they were caught.  The HPCSA’s enquiry into Basson’s conduct during apartheid started in 2007.

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