Issued by: Truth and Reconciliation Commission
STATEMENT BY DUMISA NTSEBEZA, INVESTIGATIVE HEAD OF THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be holding a special public hearing into South Africa's chemical and biological warfare (CBW) programme from 8 to 12 June.
The hearing will focus on the SADF's CBW programme from 1981 to 1994. It will explore:
* the institutional arrangements that made the programme possible * the front companies that were established to support it, and individual human rights violations that resulted from the programme * the involvement of the SADF in experimentation on humans and animals * the financial implications for the state; and * the involvement of scientific and research institutions.
A number of witnesses will be called by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission over the five days. Key witnesses are: Dr Wouter Basson; Dr Niel Knobel, the former Surgeon General; Dr Wynand Swanepoel, former MD of Roodeplaat Research Laboratories (RRL); Dr Philip Mijburg, former MD of Delta G Scientific; Dr Brian Davey, currently the head of the Health and Safety Division of the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Warfare in The Hague; Dr Johan Koekemoer, former head of Research at Delta G Scientific; Dr Daan Goosen, who headed RRL before Swanepoel took over from him; Prof CFG Hofmeyr, former head of the Veterinary Faculty at the University of Pretoria and advisory to the Surgeon General; Dr Mike Odendal, former researcher at RRL; Dr Schalk van Rensburg, former employee of RRL; and Dr Lothar Neethling, former head of Forensics for the SAP. Other witnesses' names will be withheld until they have been offered witness protection.
The panel of commissioners presiding over the hearing includes: Dr Alex Boraine, Mr Dumisa Ntsebeza, Dr Fazel Randera, Dr Wendy Orr, Ms Yasmin Sooka and Mr Richard Lyster.
The hearing will be conducted in Cape Town and will be held in the hearing room at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission offices in Adderley Street.