Cape Town pro-life doctor Jacques de Vos, whose professional conduct hearing has been repeatedly delayed by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) since 2017, has applied to the North Gauteng High Court to compel the council to finalise the hearing against him.
In 2017 Dr De Vos was suspended from the gynaecology rotation during his internship at 2 Military Hospital, Cape Town after he advised a woman that her 19-week old unborn baby was a human life.
Since July 2017 he has been prevented from practising medicine and has been charged with unprofessional conduct. For the past three and a half years the HPCSA has delayed his hearing through repeatedly applying for postponements, and unilaterally withdrawing charges against him only to reinstate them later.
In December 2019 De Vos pleaded “not guilty” to the charges against him. Despite the best efforts of his legal team, the HPCSA ignored Dr De Vos’s pleas to state his case. In September 2020 the HPCSA again unilaterally “withdrew” the charges for a second time.
Lawyers for De Vos will argue in the High Court that he is entitled to a conviction or acquittal because he has entered a plea, and that the HPCSA must proceed with the hearing with urgency.
De Vos, who is wheelchair-bound, has faced severe ongoing prejudice as the result of the unexplained delays, failure to meet deadlines, and refusal to provide him with information of his alleged “misdemeanours”. This, despite him being ready to state his case, and despite expert witnesses in human anatomy and psychiatry being ready to testify.