|29 October 2001
SOUTH AFRICA: Revelations of Swiss military backing for Apartheid strengthens reparations case
"Our repeated calls for apartheid debt cancellation and reparations from
Switzerland are today being justified publicly", Jubilee South Africa said in a
statement issued on October 29.
Headline reports in the largest Swiss daily newspaper "Blick" revealed
former Swiss secret service chief Peter Regli's apartheid era biological and
chemical weapons collaboration with Wouter Basson, apartheid's 'Dr Death'.
Swiss journalist Jean-Philippe Ceppi, once arrested in Cape Town by
South African police for possession of confidential Truth & Reconciliation
Commission documents, Saturday broke news of a secret 1986 bilateral agreement
between the Swiss and apartheid South African governments. The existence of the
agreement was confirmed by Chris Thirion, a former South African secret service
"A comprehensive investigation with access to all relevant Swiss and
South African archives, including the archives of financial institutions that
propped up apartheid, is urgently required so that the extent of apartheid
destruction supported by Swiss institutions may be known", said Jubilee South
The reports continue that South African groups are preparing class
action reparations suits against Swiss banks and businesses, with the
assistance of American attorneys.
"We have made no firm decision about reparations suits, neither have we
appointed any legal counsel in this regard," said Jubilee South Africa.
"However, reparations are a major concern for popular organisations across
Africa and we are currently in a process of consultation about what course of
action to take to secure reparations".