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Apartheid Era Animal Hormone Experiments Revealed

On the eve of a report from the NZ Royal Commission into Genetic Engineering, it has been revealed from South Africa that scientific experiment's were conducted on wild animals during the apartheid era to test whether animal hormones could be used to manipulate or control crowds. Maree Howard reports.

South African apartheid spy, Wouter Basson, has testified at his trial for murder in South Africa, that he used money from Libya to buy a zoo in Cape Town to test whether animal hormones could be used to control crowds.

Dubbed, "Dr Death" for his allegedly deadly scientific experiments, Basson said yesterday that both his Libyan contacts and the South African apartheid regime wanted to know whether pheromones would manipulate crowd behaviour.

"Research was done on pheromones for crowd control," the former military officer and heart surgeon told the Pretoria High Court.

"It was about, for example, how pheromones could be used to make a crowd nervous and therefore controllable, or on the other hand, to make a crowd feel warm and calm."

"The type of research could not be done on tame animals; we would have to get control of (wild) animals."

Basson was the mastermind behind the apartheid regime's chemical warfare programme and is facing 46 charges ranging from murder to drug trafficking but has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

He told the court that Libya, the former East Germany and the former Soviet Union had backed the germ warfare and genetic programme called Project Coast.

He told the court that he was part of an international chemical warfare "mafia," had set up a safe house in England and established money-laundering operations in the Cayman Islands in order to pay Libyan, East German and Soviet companies.

Before his trial began in 1999, his colleagues had testified before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that Basson had tried to develop a drug to make black women sterile.

During those trials evidence was given that Basson had provided poisons to kill opponents of apartheid and to subdue freedom fighters before they were thrown into the sea from high-flying aircraft.

The court trial is continuing.


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