230 medical professionals call for Basson’s removal

The signatories of the petition state Basson has shown no remorse or acknowledgment for his offences.

FILE: Apartheid-era chemical weapons expert Wouter Basson. Picture: EWN.

PRETORIA - A petition signed by 230 well-known South African health professionals has called for apartheid-era chemical weapons expert Wouter Basson to be removed from the role of medical professionals.

Basson was found guilty in December last year of breaching medical ethics during a chemical warfare programme in the 1980's.

Sentence arguments started in Pretoria today.

The cardiologist, dubbed "Doctor Death" was involved in the establishment of a chemical weapons production facility, weaponised mortars and manufactured substances to be used in combat and kidnapping missions.

Professors and doctors who lead professional organisations and university medical faculties believe Basson has no right to be practicing medicine.

The Cape Town-based cardiologist, who once headed up the apartheid regime's chemical and biological warfare program, intends challenging the admissibility of the petition.

The petition was presented by civil rights group Section 27's Mark Heywood.

The signatories' state Basson has shown no remorse or acknowledgment for his offences and that he has continued to justify his conduct.

They say his conduct has caused damage to the image of the profession, and they believe he has shown no respect for ethics when practicing medicine.

Earlier, advocate Sallie Joubert said the disciplinary committee should consider imposing a financial penalty on Basson - either he pay for the costs of the hearings or he pay reparation.

The first evidence submitted in aggravation of sentence was of an interview Basson had with 567 CapeTalk's John Maytham, where he claimed there is no evidence that his conduct ever resulted in any person being harmed.

(Edited By Gadeeja Abbas)