Doctors for Life International and pro-life doctor Jacques de Vos have instructed their lawyers to launch an application in the North Gauteng High Court to compel the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) to deliver a verdict in the protracted case in which De Vos was charged with unprofessional conduct because of his pro-life views.
After the HPCSA “withdrew” charges against De Vos on October 6 “after three years of stalling” his attorneys wrote to the disciplinary hearing committee arguing that he is legally entitled to a verdict and requesting the committee for the hearing to continue so that it could be decided whether De Vos acted professionally or not, says DFL in a media statement released today.
“Despite requests to the HPCSA to set a date to proceed with Dr De Vos’ matter, no response has been received except the chairperson who indicated he has no powers to make arrangements for a hearing to take place,” says DFL.
De Vos was charged with unprofessional conduct after allegedly advising a woman that her 19-week old unborn baby is a human being.
After withdrawing charges against De Vos the HPCSA told media it could not proceed with the case because the complainant had decided she no longer wanted to pursue the matter.
“Adv Keith Matthee SC, who represents De Vos, argued that it is not possible in law to withdraw charges after Dr De Vos entered a plea in December 2019. Dr De Vos is entitled to an acquittal (or a conviction), says DFL.
It says: “This was also not the first time that the HPCSA ‘withdrew’ charges in the three years that it delayed the case against the pro-life doctor. In 2018 the HPCSA ‘withdrew’ the charges only to reinstate it again. The real reason why the HPCSA is unable to proceed with the hearing is that the so-called ‘complainant’ never submitted a complaint to the HPCSA. Instead, a clear paper trail points to two doctors (Drs Van Wyk and Ismail) at 2 Military Hospital who drove their personal vendetta against Dr De Vos for not agreeing to their worldview justifying abortion.”
“Doctors For Life has called on the HPCSA to charge Drs Van Wyk and Ismail with gross unprofessional conduct for abusing their powers to achieve their own ideological goals.”
DFL says in addition to requesting a High Court hearing on the De Vos case it has also instructed the attorneys to “ask for a personal costs order against the HPCSA, and/or against individuals at the HPCSA in their personal capacities given the vexatious and malicious conduct of the persons responsible, and the ongoing and extreme prejudice this conduct is causing Dr De Vos.”
Gateway News has asked the HPCSA for comment on the DFL media statement but had not received a response yet at the time of posting this report.