HPCSA: Wouter Basson guilty

'Doctor Death' has been found guilty of unprofessional conduct for breaching medical ethics.

Former apartheid regime chemical and biological warfare expert Dr Wouter Basson. Picture:AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Dr Wouter Basson has been found guilty of unprofessional conduct for breaching medical ethics, the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) found on Wednesday.

Dubbed 'Doctor Death', Basson was involved in the chemical warfare programme during the 1980s.

He established a chemical weapons production facility, weaponised mortars and manufactured substances to be used in combat and kidnapping missions.

The cardiologist was not present at proceedings in Pretoria on Wednesday.

HSPCA professional conduct committee chairperson Jannie Hugo found Basson's conduct was in violation of established ethical rules.

He relied on the testimony of ethics specialist Professor Steven Miles to reach the conclusion.

Hugo said it was not true that Miles was biased and unfair, saying his testimony was supported by pure logic.

The chairperson found that it was not in dispute that Basson had weaponised mortars, coordinated the production and stockpiling of drugs like mandrax and ecstasy as well as provided incapacitating agents for kidnapping operations.

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

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