A South African doctor that rose to infamy during the period of apartheid for his production of chemical weapons and drugs was found guilty this week of unprofessional conduct.
Wouter Basson, who headed a controversial chemical and biological weapons program in the 1980s and 1990s, saw an end to a six-year inquiry by The Health Professions Council of South Africa after the group made their verdict.
Basson, a cardiologist by trade, was made the head of Project Coast in 1983. Under the orders of then-President PW Botha, Basson secretly created large batches of toxins and bio-toxins under the guise of research laboratories. The chemicals were made as a last resort against enemy forces, and Basson created various covert ways to administer the weapons.
Basson also created drugs such as Mandrax and cocaine, which amazingly the South African government wanted to use to quell dissent among soldiers. Weaponized tear gas was also produced and sold to Angola’s National Union for the Total Independence of Angola leader Jonas Savimbi. Basson also created drugs that made kidnappings possible and capsules of cyanide for field agents to commit suicide if captured.
Project Coast also reportedly created a hidden contraceptive the government wanted to distribute among the Black population of the country, especially the men. The contraceptive agent would have been delivered through the country’s water lines.
Although Dr. Basson was not present at the trial, the families of some of the victims of Project Coast’s drugs and chemicals were present. Basson claimed in court documents that he was only acting as a soldier, carrying out military orders and did not know where the chemicals were heading. The HPCSA contended that Basson remained a member of the Council, which binds him to the rules of ethics and the like.
He will be sentenced in February of next year.