Dr Death’s high court challenge dismissed

The Pretoria high court on Friday dismissed Wouter Basson’s review application challenging a decision by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) to refuse his recusal application. 

Basson was found guilty of unethical misconduct in December 2013 for his role as the head of the apartheid government’s chemical and biological warfare programme, Project Coast, in the 1980s and 1990s. 

Basson’s sentencing hearing started in 2014, but has been interrupted by his application calling for the HPCSA to recuse Jannie Hugo, the chairperson of the HPCSA committee that found him guilty, as well as committee member Eddie Mhlanga.  

Basson argued that Hugo and Mhlanga were not objective. According to his application, Hugo was a member of the South African Medical Association and the Junior Doctors’ Association, which submitted a petition calling for Basson to be scrapped off South Africa’s roll of medical practitioners. The petition was presented before the committee in mitigation of sentencing.  His application was originally rejected by the HPCSA, but Basson then decided to take it to court. 

The court has however ruled that Basson has to go through the HPCSA’s appeals procedure to challenge its decisions.  His lawyers said they would study the judgment before taking any action in this regard.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Ina Skosana
Ina Skosana was a health reporter at Bhekisisa, the Mail & Guardian’s centre for health journalism, from 2013 to 2017.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Gaseous explosion probably caused death of 21 young people at...

Expert says it will be a few weeks before a final determination is made on the cause of death

Eskom wage deadlock ends, setting SA back on course to...

This is according to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, who placed the blame for stage six load-shedding on unprotected strike action

Nearly 800 years later, the fires of the Benin bronze...

Ancient art has been carried out in the same street by smiths for dozens of generations

Pensioner again used in alleged multimillion-rand police corruption

Salamina Khoza’s RDP home in Soshanguve, Tshwane, emerged as the SAPS’s alleged fraud headquarters

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…