Calls for Basson to be scrapped from the medical roll
CALLS for the removal of Dr Wouter Basson have been made by some of the country’s most influential sectors, who want him barred from ever practising medicine again.
Basson headed apartheid-era chemical and biological warfare programmes and oversaw mass production of psycho-active drugs and disorienting substances.
Two online petitions endorsed by 230 medical professionals and 32 civil rights organisations were presented yesterday to the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) tribunal hearing the case against the cardiologist.
They were presented by human rights activist and executive director of Section27, Mark Heywood, who was the first witness for the pro-forma complainant.
In his evidence-in-chief, Hey- wood explained that the calls came from eminent doctors, cardiologists and paediatricians, the heads of university ethics and medical faculties, and former judges of the Constitutional Court.
“Petition 1 involves most respected health professionals, researchers, lecturers and all members of the HPCSA who want Basson removed from the medical roll to never be allowed to practise medicine again,” Heywood said.
They called on the HPCSA to give him nothing less than the boot. They said he had violated his ethics in a very serious manner and had showed no remorse for his actions, nor had be showed insight into the ethically compromised nature of his actions.
The medical health professionals said a slap on the wrist would give Basson impunity for what he did, and that would be a threat to democracy.
The second petition came from the People’s Health Movement of South Africa and was endorsed by a series of organisations working in the field of health, medicine and human rights. They accused Basson of denialism and failing to show remorse for his actions.
“For too long, apartheid agents have got away with murder. It is time to end that now,” an excerpt from the petition states.
The hearing continues today.
‘GIVE HIM THE BOOT!’: Dr Wouter Basson during the Health Professions Council of South Africa tribunal hearing in Pretoria yesterday.