Thapelo Lekabe
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
19 Jan 2021
2:19 pm

Mediclinic defends decision to allow ‘Dr Death’ Wouter Basson to work from premises

Thapelo Lekabe

Basson was accused of producing deadly drugs and other substances to be used against 'enemies' of the apartheid government.

Dr Wouter Basson during his hearing on 26 November 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Picture: Gallo Images/Foto24/Alet Pretorius

Mediclinic Southern Africa has defended its decision to allow controversial apartheid-era chemical warfare expert and medical doctor, Wouter Basson, to work from its premises as a cardiologist.

This after the private hospital group was slammed on Twitter that ‘Dr Death’ has a practice at its Durbanville facility in the Western Cape.

Basson, dubbed South Africa’s “Dr Death”, was found guilty in December 2013 of unethical misconduct by the disciplinary panel of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) for his role as the head of the apartheid government’s secret chemical and biological warfare programme in the 1980s and 1990s‚ known as Project Coast.

Basson was accused of producing deadly drugs and other substances to be used against “enemies” of the apartheid government by providing security forces with cyanide to help them commit suicide, and providing drugs that would disorientate prisoners.

However, in response to a question on Twitter regarding the appointment, Mediclinic said it could not prohibit doctors registered with the HPCSA, including Basson, from practising unless they are prevented from doing so by law.

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In 2018, Basson succeeded in his appeal application in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) challenging an earlier ruling by the Pretoria High Court in 2016 that to have two HPCSA members recused from the committee deciding his sentence for unethical conduct.

Since then, Basson has been practicing as a cardiologist in Cape Town. And in April 2019, the HPCSA said it would apply for leave to appeal the judgement.

Attempts to get a comment from Mediclinic have so far been unsuccessful. The story will be updated once we get comment.


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