The repeatedly-postponed hearing of a doctor who is facing charges of unprofessional conduct before the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) for advising that an unborn baby is a human being ,will hopefully resume within the next three to four weeks, say Doctors For Life International (DFL) in a press statement released today.
At the latest delay in April, the HPCSA prosecutor informed attorneys of Dr Jacques de Vos,that the hearing was being postponed due to Covid-19.
“Despite efforts to obtain a new date from the HPCSA to proceed with the hearing, Dr De Vos’ attorneys only received confirmation in September that the HPCSA prosecutor is ready to proceed. The actual date is still outstanding,” say DFL.
Dr De Vos, meanwhile, has been barred from practising medicine since 2016 when he was suspended for his pro-life views.
In November last year the HPCSA Professional Conduct Committee declared two of the four charges against De Vos as unlawful. In December, De Vos pleaded “not guilty” to the remaining two charges. The HPCSA then asked for a postponement until April 2020 to give it time to apply to the High Court to set aside the decision of the committee to strike two of the four charges.
De Vos is supported by DFL and represented by Senior Advocate Keith Matthee and De Wet Wepener Attorneys. A number of expert witnesses, including Dr Chris Warton (lecturer in Human Anatomy and Embryology at the University of Cape Town) and Prof Priscilla Coleman (Human Development, Bowling Green University) are due to testify at the hearing.
The legal team are acting pro bono (charge no fees). However, costs are mounting and contributions can be made to expenses of the case.
For more information, contact Doctors For Life at firstname.lastname@example.org or +27 32 481 5550.