D-Day for 'Dr Death'

Wouter Basson will find out today whether he will be struck off the health professionals roll.

Wouter Basson, former apartheid-era chemical and biological warfare expert. Picture:AFP

PRETORIA - Apartheid-era chemical warfare expert, Wouter Basson, will today find out whether he will be struck from the roll of health professionals.

Basson was dubbed 'Doctor Death' for leading the chemical weapons programme during apartheid.

The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is trying him for unprofessional conduct for arming mortars with teargas and providing cyanide capsules to the defence force during apartheid.

Basson's legal team has argued his conduct must be viewed in the context of the prevailing climate at the time.

Advocate Jaap Cilliers says while Basson had a medical qualification, he was conducting himself as a soldier not as a doctor.

But Advocate Solly Joubert dismissed Basson's claim that the time lapse between his conduct and being charged prejudiced him, arguing that war criminals were often prosecuted decades after their crimes.