Basson recusal application fails

An application by Wouter Basson for the recusal of the committee of Health Professions Council of South Africa currently conducting an inquiry into his conduct has failed.  

Basson, who was found guilty of unethical conduct by the committee in 2013, applied for the recusal of the committee chairperson, Jannie Hugo, and a member of the committee, Eddie Mhlanga. 

The application was filed after it emerged that Hugo is a member of two organisations that signed a petition calling for Basson’s name to be scrapped from the register of medical practitioners. The petition was presented to the committee during sentencing hearings in November of 2014.    

Association has no bearing
Speaking during on the committee’s decision, Hugo said that the petition in question was initiated by the People’s Health Movement, not the South African Medical Association or the Rural Doctors Association – the two organisations of which he is a member. 

The two organisations, he argued, just supported the petition like many other organisations did. Hugo further argued that his association with the two organisations relate to his academic and professional work and has no bearing on this matter. 

Hugo said that Basson failed to support his claim that the committee is bias and has a vested interest in the outcome of this hearing. “We need to assure Dr Basson that we are acutely aware of our duties in this matter and that he will continue to experience a fair trial.”

The sentencing hearings will continue on May 28.

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