Basson granted recusal bid

A North Gauteng high court judge on Friday granted apartheid-era chemical warfare expert, Dr Wouter Basson, the right to apply for the recusal of Jannie Hugo and Eddie Mhlanga, both members of the  professional conduct committee of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). 

Basson, who was found guilty of unethical conduct for activities during the 1980s and 1990s when  he was head of the apartheid government’s chemical and biological warfare programme, filed an urgent court application on Monday. 

His sentencing hearing before the committee was put on hold  until the application was heard. 

Read: Dr Death outfoxes his pursuers

In the application the cardiologist sought to compel Hugo and Mhlanga to provide information  regarding their membership to any of the organisations that signed a petition calling for the removal  of Basson from the roll of medical practitioners brought before the committee.  

In the HPCSA’s answering affidavit to the interdict application, it emerged that Hugo, who is the  chairperson of the professional conduct committee, is a member of two of the organisations that  signed the petition: The South African Medical Association and the Rural Doctors Association of  South Africa.  

In his judgement Judge Bert Bam said the application involved Basson’s constitutional rights to a fair  trial. 

“Any litigation will therefore be entitled, if there are prima facie grounds to suspect that a  presiding officer in any trial, or enquiry like the one in hand, may be biased or that his or her mind  set could have been contaminated by any aspect outside the proceedings, to approach the court for  the appropriate relief,” said Bam. 

Basson can has ten days to apply for Hugo and Mhlanga’s recusal.  

The HPCSA was further  ordered to pay for the costs of the application.  

Basson’s teams have in the past prevailed with strategies that have worked to cause this hearing to drag on for 15 years after a complaint was filed against them in 2000.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories


Subscribers only

How smuggled gold destined for Dubai or Singapore has links...

Three Malagasy citizens were apprehended at OR Tambo International airport, but now the trail is found to connect to France and Mali

How lottery execs received dubious payments through a private company

The National Lottery Commission is being investigated by the SIU for alleged corruption and maladministration, including suspicious payments made to senior NLC employees between 2016 and 2017

More top stories

R2.3bn VBS trial expected to only begin in 2022

The state is expected to request a 16 week-long trial, as delays stymie progress in the saga.

Spy boss tells how agency was used to detain Zuma’s...

Day two of State Security Agency testimony at the Zondo commission birthed more revelations that point to the former head of state and agents breaking the law

Covax will take excess doses of Covid vaccines off the...

The global initiative plans to deliver two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to developing nations

Eastern Cape citizens don’t have to visit the labour department...

This measure, aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19, may shortly be introduced in other regions.

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…