Judgement reserved in urgent application sought by Basson’s lawyers

Judgement was reserved on Thursday in the Johannesburg high court where Judge Bert Bam heard the application by the legal team of the former head the apartheid government’s chemical warfare programme, Wouter Basson. 

Basson’s lawyers filed an urgent application with the court on Monday, effectively halting the cardiologist’s sentencing hearings at the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). 

In December 2013, Basson was found guilty of unprofessional conduct by the HPCSA for acting unethically as a medical doctor during his time as the head of “Project Coast” and later “Delta G” in the 1980s. The activities that led to him being found guilty include the mass production of mandrax, ecstasy and the weaponising of teargas.

In his high court application Basson’s lawyer, Jaap Cilliers, filed an order seeking to compel two members of the ethical conduct committee – chair Jannie Hugo and member Eddie Mhlanga – to provide information “relating to their membership to any of the organisations that signed the petition agitating for the removal of Basson from the roll of medical practitioners”. The application calls for the recusal of Hugo and Mhlanga.

The petition was submitted to the committee in November.

Cilliers said he had learned that the committee chairperson was a member of one of the organisations – the South African Medical Association – that had signed the petition. 

‘A bid to delay sentencing’
In court Cilliers argued that withholding of the information denied his client the right to a fair hearing. He said he was forced by the committee to bring the matter to court. 

“If we didn’t come to court on Monday, Dr Basson wouldn’t have been a doctor by now. The applicant would have been removed from the roll,” Cilliers said.

“The ludicrous conducted is shown by the fact that they [the committee] made an order that we may not in future cross-examine that witness [who testified on Monday]. In fact they were on the verge of closing the applicant’s [Basson] case.”

Cilliers further wants Hugo and Mhlanga to pay for the legal costs of this application.

“It may be a difficult situation but they [Hugo and Mhlanga] are the sole cause for this absurd conduct and they should bear the responsibility.”

However, Terry Motau, the HPCSA’s legal representative, said Cilliers had ample time to raise his concerns with the council and the committee, and that the court application was a bid to delay the sentencing hearings.

Motau asked the court to dismiss Basson’s application.

Advertisting

Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa

Despite tweet, Zuma keeps silent about providing his taxpayer information

The Public Protector has still not received confirmation from former president Jacob Zuma that she may access his tax records —...

Ahead of WEF, Mboweni will have to assure investors that...

The finance minister says despite the difficult fiscal environment, structural reforms are under way to put SA on a new growth path
Advertising

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.