'Basson should be struck off medical practitioners register’

'Dr Death' was found guilty for breaching medical ethics during a chemical warfare programme in the 1980s.

South African former apartheid regime Chemical and Biological warfare expert, dubbed "Dr. death", Dr. Wouter Basson gives a press conference and a radio intervew, 13 September 2005. Picture:AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) will argue that apartheid era chemical weapons expert Wouter Basson's unprofessional conduct was of a disgraceful nature and he should be struck off the roll of medical professionals.

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

The cardiologist, dubbed 'Dr 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.

Advocate Sallie Joubert says Basson should be removed from the register of medical practitioners.

He says the disciplinary committee should also consider imposing a financial penalty on Basson; either he pay for the costs of the hearings or he pay reparation.

Defence advocate Jaap Cilliers says he will challenge the claim that his clients conduct was disgraceful - merely that it was unprofessional, which is as the committee had found in its ruling last year.

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

It's believed Joubert will argue that this shows Basson's lack of remorse.