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Basson case on hold due to high court application

Wouter Basson’s sentencing hearings are on hold until the high court rules on his interdict application on Thursday.

An application order by Wouter Basson in the high court in Pretoria has been postponed to Thursday after the respondents in the case, the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and members of its professional conduct committee, failed to file their answering affidavit in time.

Basson was found guilty of unprofessional conduct in his role as head of the apartheid government’s chemical warfare programme. 

He filed an urgent application to force committee chairperson Jannie Hugo and committee member Eddie Mhlanga to provide information regarding their affiliation to any of the organisations that signed a petition brought before the committee calling for the removal of Basson from the roll of medical practitioners.

The application was filed on Monday after it emerged that Hugo was a member of the South African Medical Association, one of the organisations signatory to the petition. 

The application further calls for the recusal of Hugo and Mhlanga. Basson’s sentencing hearings have been put on hold until the application has been heard.

The HPCSA, Hugo and Mhlanga had until 4pm on Tuesday to filed an answering affidavit to Basson’s application.

Basson’s attorney, Wynanda Coetzee, said the HPCSA’s answering affidavits were only filed around 10 pm on Tuesday night. “The affidavits were not signed and did not include annexures,” she said.

But the HPCSA’s legal representative, Tebogo Malatji, said their papers were filed late because Basson’s attorneys filed a second affidavit late on Tuesday afternoon to which they had to answer.

Ina Skosana was a health reporter at Bhekisisa.