July 05, 2000
By Anthony C. LoBaido
This is the final installment of international correspondent Anthony C. LoBaido's three-part series on the current Truth and Reconciliation Hearings dealing with crimes committed during the apartheid era in South Africa. In Part 1, documents the atrocious crimes and widespread terror tactics of the Marxist African National Congress guerilla movement during its "liberation struggle" -- which amounted to a socialist takeover of South Africa. In Part 2, chronicles the misdeeds of the Afrikaner-led government in its attempt to suppress that insurrection. In part three, LoBaido presents new information on the actions of Dr. Wouter Basson, accused by the ANC of masterminding horrible death plots under a secret biological and biochemical program called Project Coast.
An Afrikaner named Dr. Wouter Basson is making the task of reconciliation in South Africa considerably more difficult, due to the atrocities he is alleged to have committed in the name of science, medicine and the apartheid ideology.
According to Dullah Omar, a former minister of justice in South Africa's ANC government, "the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is a necessary exercise to enable South Africans to come to terms with their past on a morally accepted basis and to advance the cause of reconciliation." The TRC effects its mandate through three committees -- the Amnesty Committee, Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee and Human Rights Violations Committee.
To most Afrikaners, Dr. Wouter Basson appears to be simply a 49-year-old cardiologist and military surgeon. To the ANC, he is a mad doctor run amok, and his medical practices on behalf of Project Coast, conducted from behind the secure walls of the Roodeplaat Research Laboratory, are now a major sideshow at the ongoing Truth and Reconciliation Hearings.
The trial of Basson, a loyal soldier and supporter of apartheid, began in 1997. Since he did not request amnesty from the TRC, he faces life in prison if convicted of the crimes with which he's been charged.
Why Basson has not applied for amnesty is a mystery. He has refused to ask for absolution from Bishop Desmond Tutu, who heads the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Even Eugene de Kock -- a top special forces killer who was nicknamed "Prime Evil" by his peers -- has taken this route. Breaking through legal minutiae, de Kock was sentenced to 262 years in jail for his killings of ANC anti-apartheid activists. Yet, de Kock has applied for amnesty, and a pardon, from the TRC. South African legal experts are divided as to whether de Kock will escape jail time.
The crimes of de Kock are bloody, brutal and legion, involving cold-blooded torture and killings. Dr. Basson's alleged crimes, however, are deemed by many to be more sinister, since they were carried out in the name of science, medicine and keeping European Christian civilization alive in the face of a Marxist ANC onslaught. As such, they, too, represent one of the darkest chapters in the otherwise self-styled Christian history of the Afrikaner.
Basson has been renamed "Dr. Death" by the South African media. His work in running the apartheid-era germ and chemical warfare campaign against pro-ANC blacks has resulted in a total of 64 charges against him. The charges range from the accusation of having taken part in 200 murders of Marxist guerillas in neighboring Namibia (called South West Africa until 1990) to drug dealing.
A 250-page indictment against Basson alleges his complicity in secret, government-sanctioned plans to murder top leaders in the ANC government of Thabo Mbeki -- a devout Marxist. A second indictment, this one a 274-page, two-volume tome, contains 27 charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Many of the murder charges have been dropped, since they occurred in Mozambique, Swaziland and Namibia, which are outside the jurisdiction of South Africa.
Among other things, Basson has been accused of inventing poisons to kill enemies of the white minority government. The poisons were to be delivered by umbrellas in James Bond-like fashion. Still other poisons were slipped into the underwear of ANC leaders.
Strangely, Basson has also been charged with being somewhat of a "brewmeister" who invented a special kind of beer that would kill blacks if they drank it. He is also charged with trying to invent a genetic additive that was to be added to the water supply. The additive allegedly would have made blacks, but not whites, incapable of reproduction.
Basson is free on bail and has continued to work as a surgeon at the South African army's hospital in Pretoria. His accusers claim that his work killing anti-apartheid activists began in 1981 and did not cease until the ANC took power in 1994.
"Basson is a genocidal killer. He must be put away for life because we are dealing here with an animal that shows no remorse," says Smuts Ngonyama, a spokesman for the ruling African National Congress.
The trial of Dr. Basson
At Basson's recent trial, one of his subordinates, Johan Theron, spoke about an event that occurred in 1983. Theron, then a soldier in the South African Defense Force, was ordered by Basson to chain three black ANC anti-apartheid activists to some trees in a secluded forest and cover their bodies with a toxic chemical jelly. Following orders, Theron did this, claiming in court that he did so, "to see if it would kill them."
However, the toxic jelly did not kill the three men. So, when the experiment went awry, Basson allegedly ordered Theron and another soldier to inject the three men with a deadly muscle relaxant. The injection caused their lungs to collapse. They died slowly of suffocation, and later their bodies were loaded onto an airplane and dumped into the icy ocean off Namibia's Skeleton Coast.
Theron and others also testified that when the poisons Dr. Basson ordered applied to ANC cadres did not kill them, they had to "kill them with hammers, because a knife or gun left too much blood." Many times, the bodies were dumped into the ocean from an airplane.
Hoping for a cancerous Mandela
Dr. Danie Goosen, one of the first medical men to help Basson establish the Roodeplaat lab, also testified at Basson's trial. He said they often discussed ways to infect imprisoned anti-apartheid activists so that they would die shortly after being released from prison.
"We talked, for example, about leaders such as Nelson Mandela," Goosen said on May 22.
"From our point of view, it would have been good if such a person could, for example, develop cancer before he was released."
That plan, of course, was not carried out. Yet many others were -- perhaps even an airline crash.
The Basson investigation found a weigh receipt showing that 300 grams of a highly volatile, carbon-based chemical substance was placed onboard the ill-fated Helderberg, a South African Airways aircraft. The aircraft plunged into the sea off Mauritius in 1987 -- perhaps as a part of Project Coast. The activated carbon substance may have caused the plane to catch fire and then crash.
"This is horrible. It is a poor reflection on all of us. A small group of bad apples has helped destroy the Christian reputation of the Afrikaners. Around the world, people will continue to overlook the crimes and corruption, the anarchy and rape of the New South Africa under the ANC because of Basson," said South African police intelligence officer Jan Louie Coetzee in an interview with WorldNetDaily. "We fought a just war against communism. It is a system that has now taken over our country and destroyed everything our forefathers worked to build and create. But yet, I don't know of anyone who would support the methods of Dr. Basson in our war against the ANC communists. To me, they crossed a line and headed down a path our forefathers would never have taken."
He added, "'Thou shalt not murder' is an important commandment. Maybe someday, the Afrikaners, ANC Xhosas, Zulus, English and all people in South Africa and around the world will learn to keep this commandment. That is my hope for all our children."