Lawyer: Basson was a soldier not a doctor

Dr Wouter Basson's advocate says the HPCSA must judge his conduct as that of a soldier.

Dr Wouter Basson's advocate says the HPCSA must judge his conduct as that of a soldier. Picture: EWN

PRETORIA - Doctor Wouter Basson's advocate on Friday argued that the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) must judge his conduct as that of a soldier and not as a medical doctor.

He is being tried for professional misconduct, among other charges, for weaponising mortars with teargas and providing cyanide capsules to the defence force.

Advocate Jaap Cilliers says Basson was not employed as a doctor but as a project leader in the force.

He dismissed suggestions that Basson ought to have known that his conduct was in contravention of medical protocols.

"He can't be criticised that he was negligent," Cilliers said.

The advocate also argued that his client was prejudiced in his hearing because the matter was heard 20 years after his conduct came to light.

The HPCSA argued that the lapse in time was irrelevant.