'This is such a disregard and f**k you to black people': Lesego Tlhabi weighs in on Mediclinic 'Dr Death' saga

21 January 2021 - 12:21
By unathi nkanjeni AND Unathi Nkanjeni
Lesego Tlhabi has weighed in on the outrage surrounding Wouter Basson and Mediclinic.
Image: Twitter/Coconut Kelz Lesego Tlhabi has weighed in on the outrage surrounding Wouter Basson and Mediclinic.

Satirist Lesego Tlhabi has weighed in on reports that disgraced doctor Wouter Basson is still being referred patients from Mediclinic in the Western Cape.

Mediclinic came under fire this week after it again emerged that Basson was working as a cardiologist. 

His profile is listed on Mediclinic's website along with two facilities he "practices at". Mediclinic said he did not have consulting rooms at its facilities but some patients visited him for consultations at his private rooms.

Basson is known as the mastermind behind the country’s secret chemical and biological warfare project, Project Coast, during the apartheid era.

He was dubbed “Dr Death” by local media when the details of the secret programme emerged after apartheid rule ended.

Sunday Times reported that in 2013, a tribunal of the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) found Basson guilty of unprofessional conduct.

Acts he was found to have committed included:

  • the production of deadly drugs and other substances to be used against “enemies” of the apartheid state;
  • providing substances to tranquilise victims of cross-border kidnapping; and
  • providing cyanide-filled suicide capsules for members of special units.

In 1998, Basson appeared before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to testify about Project Coast. The scientists allegedly researched ways to poison anti-apartheid leaders, sterilise black South Africans and contaminate the water supply with cholera.

News that Basson was "working at Mediclinic" sent many social media users into a frenzy.

However, Mediclinic said: “By law, doctors are independent practitioners and cannot be employed by Mediclinic Southern Africa. We cannot prohibit HPCSA-registered doctors, including Dr Basson, from practising unless they are prevented by law from doing so.”

Chief marketing officer for Mediclinic Southern Africa Biren Valodia told EWN that Basson does not have consulting rooms at Mediclinic facilities but consulted from his own rooms.

“That’s where patients choose to consult him. In the interest of our patients, we must respect each patient’s rights to choose the appropriate medical professional to deliver the required treatment at the facility of the patient’s choice.”

Weighing in on the controversial saga, Tlhabi - known for her character Coconut Kelz - said if someone violated the Hippocratic Oath, an oath taken by physicians, "to kill thousands of people simply because he could", that person shouldn’t be allowed to practise medicine.

“He should be in jail at the very least. This is such a disregard and a f*ck you to black people,” Tlhabi said.

Read Tlhabi's full thread below: