High Court reserves judgment in application by pro-life doctor

Dr Jacques de Vos

Pro-life doctor Jacques de Vos”s protracted struggle to secure a verdict in an unprofessional conduct case against him was brought before the North Gauteng High Court yesterday.

In a review application he asked the court to set aside a decision by the Health Professions Council of South Africa refusing to reconvene its hearing against him.

De Vos was charged with unprofessional conduct for allegedly advising a mother that her 19-week, healthy, unborn baby was a human being.

The proceedings against him by the HPCSA started in 2017. In December 2020, after repeated posponements of the hearing by the HPCSA, he pleaded “not guilty”.

The HPCSA subsequently withdrew charges against De Vos, saying that the complainant did not want to proceed with the matter. It refused to reconvene the hearing so that the disciplinary committee could hear the case and deliver a verdict.

Since July 2017 De Vos been unable to proceed with his career as the HPCSA would not issue him with a medical practitioner number as the hearing had not been concluded.

Adv AR Duminy on behalf of De Vos argued yesterday that De Vos’s right to be heard was infringed and that he was entitled to a verdict. The court was also asked to make a punitive costs order against the HPCSA for the manner in which De Vos has been treated.

The council’s  lawyers opposed the review application and Acting Judge Pahlamohlaka reserved judgment.

rDe Vos was represented by Adv K Matthee SC and Adv AR Duminy (instructed by De Wet Wepener Inc c/o Maphalla Mokate Conradi).

The HPCSA was represented by Adv M Majozi (instructed by Mgeno & Mteto Inc).

Doctors For Life has been assisting De Vos since the beginning of 2017 with legal representation as well as renowned expert witnesses in the fields of embryology, human anatomy and psychology.

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