The Health Professions Council (HPCSA) has suffered yet another defeat in its protracted battles with Dr Wouter Basson, according to Rapport. The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) dismissed the HPCSA’s application for leave to appeal a judgment ordering the recusal of two tribunal members who found him guilty of unethical conduct during the apartheid era in December 2013.

As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, the HPCSA argued the judgment would have far-reaching consequences for the functioning of the regulatory body as members of medical associations would not be able to make themselves available for disciplinary hearings of colleagues.

Rapport says Judge Sulet Potterill rejected this argument, saying Professors Jannie Hugo and Eddie Mhlanga could merely have declared at the beginning of the disciplinary hearing that they were members of the SA Medical Association, and that they had not signed the association’s petition seeking Basson’s removal from the medical register.

By refusing to answer Basson’s lawyers on the issue and continuing to find Basson guilty despite knowing about pending litigation on the issue, they created grounds for their recusal.

Potterill held that HPCSA has no reasonable prospects of a successful appeal, particularly because the SCA has already considered the matter and referred it back to the High Court. She again made a cost order against the HPCSA.

Full report in Rapport (subscription needed)