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Has humanity not progressed since South Africa’s apartheid?

June 10, 2009

The Independent – Laced chocolates used as apartheid weapons

POISONED chocolates, death threats and drugs were all used in South Africa’s apartheid chemical and biological weapons programme, the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission heard yesterday.

Schalk van Rensburg told a panel probing apartheid crimes that Roodeplaat Research Laboratories, a military front company, had produced poisons and given them to special forces agents to be used in killing anti-apartheid activists.

Mr Van Rensburg said the company had given them chocolates and cigarettes laced with anthrax, poisoned whiskey and orange juice and sugar containing salmonella.

He described himself as a political liberal who only realised the company’s true nature after he joined. He said: “We had been told in no uncertain terms if we let the side down we are dead. If I stayed there, I could minimise a lot of [their] effort.”

The commission is investigating covert military research programmes set up by Wouter Basson, who headed the army’s Seventh Medical Battalion and operated through a sophisticated network of front companies.

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