Calls for Bas­son to be scrapped from the med­i­cal roll

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - NTANDO MAKHUBU

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.

PIC­TURE: THO­BILE MATHONSI

‘GIVE HIM THE BOOT!’: Dr Wouter Bas­son dur­ing the Health Pro­fes­sions Coun­cil of South Africa tri­bunal hear­ing in Pre­to­ria yes­ter­day.

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