Dr Death’s drugs ‘used in teargas’

2011-10-01 20:26

Some of “Dr Death” Wouter Basson’s ­controversial substances were used ­by the apartheid riot police against protestors.

But, argued his advocate Jaap Cilliers SC this week, Basson did not act unethically by producing these concoctions.

He was merely taking part in the “legal operations of the day”.

Basson is charged by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) for acting unethically through his participation in Project Coast – the apartheid regime’s chemical and biological warfare programme.

Cilliers asked US ethics expert Professor Steven Miles whether his opinion about Basson’s allegedly unethical behaviour would’ve been any different if the activities had been aimed at supporting law ­enforcers’ legal operations.

Miles did not answer the question and merely said Basson had carried out military operations, but Cilliers pointed out to him that the apartheid defence force (SADF) had worked closely with the police.

Cilliers said they would lead further evidence in relation to charge two against Basson – that it was part of “riot control”.

Under charge two, Basson is charged that, as the project officer of Delta G, he manufactured mandrax, ­ecstasy, BZ and the teargases CS and CR “on a large scale”.

He testified previously that CR was supplied indirectly to the ­SADF for riots and that even the defence force did not know it was actually manufactured in ­Pretoria.

A front company had been formed, with this in mind, to buy the product from Delta G to channel it to the ­defence force.

According to Basson’s testimony, the product CR makes a person feel so bad that he just “wants to go home, lie down and die”.

According to the criminal hearing testimony, there were different variations of BZ that had different effects.

Basson testified that the one variation makes the targets completely passive so that in the face of great danger they would just sit down.

Another variation makes a target so aggressive that “he starts shooting his own mother”.

Arguing against the charges, Basson’s legal team said he had performed the activities in his capacity as a “soldier” and not a doctor.

It therefore falls outside the fields of behaviour that the ­HPCSA must judge.

Cilliers compared Basson with former president Nelson Mandela.

The Law Society ­wanted to strike Mandela from the roll at the time because he was ­violating apartheid laws for political purposes and incited others to do so.

Cilliers argued that the court had accepted that Mandela carried out his political activities in his personal capacity and not as a lawyer.

Another argument by Basson’s defence was that he acted ethically by supplying substances for cross-
border operations, rather than slitting throats or shooting ANC, PAC or Swapo members.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.