The Health Professions Council (HPCSA) has suffered yet another defeat against apartheid-era defence force medic, Dr Wouter Basson – this time in the Constitutional Court.

According to Rapport, the apex court dismissed the HPCSA’s appeal bid outright, deciding it had no reasonable prospect of success.

A disciplinary panel of the HPCSA found Basson guilty in 2013 of unprofessional conduct for his involvement in the chemical warfare programme, Project Coast, but the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) later ruled two of the three panel members should have recused themselves.

Judge Sulet Potterill refused the HPCSA leave to appeal her judgment, but the HPCSA nevertheless tried to appeal to both the SCA and the Constitutional Court.

They argued that the HPCSA would be severely hampered in future disciplinary proceedings if the principles in the High Court judgment were allowed to stand.

Basson was originally charged in 2007 and the consequence of the latest defeat is that the HPCSA would have to start the disciplinary process afresh.

Basson is quoted as saying that his legal team stood ready to fight again if the HPCSA chooses to start from scratch. He is in private practice as a cardiologist.

Full report in Rapport (subscription needed)