by Our Correspondent in Pretoria (World, Crescent International Vol. 27, No. 16, Jumada' al-Akhirah, 1419)
At a time when millions of Iraqis are being starved to death and a Pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan was destroyed by US missiles for allegedly producing chemical weapons, a South African doctor has revealed that he had unresticted access to western chemical and biological weapons programmes in the eighties.
Dr Wouter Basson, who was head of the apartheid regime’s chemical warfare programme, testified at the end of July before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that British scientists had advised South Africa on the setting up of a biological warfare programme. The 47-year-old doctor, a heart specialist whose team of scientists created poisons, confirmed to the
Commission in Cape Town that British, US, German, Japanese and Canadian experts had told him about their biological warfare programmes ‘in incredible detail.’
The commission’s legal adviser, Hanif Vally, distributed a handwritten memorandum, stamped ‘top secret’, giving details of a 1981 conference in San Antonio, Texas, with western army officers. Dr Basson said western governments had co-operated with South Africa in return for information about chemical weapons in Soviet-backed African countries. ‘That was why I had good access to senior government officials and people at that time,’ he said.
The scientist, who joined the apartheid-era defence force in 1975, said he was ‘pushing at open doors’ when he toured the world in the early 1980s, gathering information. ‘I had access to very senior people,’ he admitted.
This needs to be put into proper context. In the eighties, the apartheid regime of South Africa was under an international embargo and most western governments at least publicly adhered to UN-imposed sanctions. It was precisely at that time that the apartheid regime had access to such lethal information and technology.
Equally important is the fact that the zionist State of Israel was actively collaborating with the apartheid regime in the military and nuclear fields. In fact, Israel helped apartheid South Africa break the UN embargo by rerouting trade through its own ports. The South African diamond trade was one such area which mushroomed into a billion dollar trade.
In 1976, when then South African president John Vorster visited Israel, he told his hosts that the two countries shared similar ideals and outlooks. The zionists agreed with their white racist guest, a follower of the nazi ideology, wholeheartedly. They were doing much the same thing to the Palestinians as the whites of South Africa were doing to the blacks. This was further confirmation that zionism is racism.
But it is the west’s collaboration in chemical and biological weapons that needs attention. Dr Basson admitted under questioning that his team had produced cyanide-laced peppermint chocolates and anthrax-tipped cigarettes. The doctor, dubbed ‘Dr Death’ by colleagues, tried to downplay the impact of his lethal hobby. The chocolates had been intended as training tools, he claimed. ‘I could show agents what they might find on their hotel room pillows,’ he said. ‘But these were not weapons of mass destruction.’
Commission lawyer Hanif Vally read out a list of about 20 other toxins, including whisky mixed with paraquat, mamba venom, poisonous spoors on the gum of envelopes, deodorant contaminated with typhoid, and cholera cultures. Dr Basson confirmed they had been produced by his team but he again had a ready excuse.
They had only been used ‘for legitimate training and research purposes,’ he insisted. He denied that cholera cultures produced by his team had been used to spread the disease in South Africa, Mozambique and other African countries. In June, scientists who worked for Basson described spreading cholera and plotting to poison Nelson Mandela when he was in prison in Robben Island.
He made the incredible claim that his team’s finding helped to boost security for Mandela. Basson also denied other allegations made by his former colleagues at their amnesty hearings.
Dr Death’s lawyers are being paid by the South African Defence Force. He was put on trial in August on 11 charges of fraud and manufacturing anthrax and ecstasy tablets. Basson’s experiments dovetailed those by the west, especially the US, which was trying to kill Cuban president Fidel Castro. The American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had tried to poison Castro’s cigars, lace his drink with poison and also tried to use lethal bacterial culture on his diving suit in case he went scuba diving. All these attempts failed but it reveals the depths to which the west would sink in order to undermine its opponents.
Similarly, the CIA was testing viruses on blacks in the US without their knowledge. In addition, people were given LSD and other drugs to test their reaction, without their knowledge, of course. It is interesting to note that many leading nazi scientists were given shelter by the US and worked for the CIA in the ‘larger national interest.’
The South African doctor’s revelations, extracted under intense questioning at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, shed light on the horrible practices of the partheid regime and the west’s close collaboration with it. No less criminal was the zionist State’s close alliance with it in such criminal enterprises.
Muslimedia: October 16-31, 1998