The Influence Of The Pharmaceutical Industry In South Africa

  1. Througout the 20th century, South Africa has played an important role in the global strategy of pharmaceutical interests. After eliminating any competition from the field of natural health and consolidating its global interests during WWII, the second half of the 20 th century was dedicated to cementing its global monopoly on health.
  2. The Apartheid regime in South Africa was part of this global strategy. This regime was the political arm to turn South Africa into a bridgehead of the pharmaceutical interests with the goal to conquer and control the entire African continent. And the Apartheid regime became its political stakeholder.
  3. Already before and during WWII the global chemical / pharmaceutical interests including “IG Farben” were anchored in South Africa . The records of the Nuremberg War Tribunal document powerful subsidiaries of this global cartel in South Africa , such as “Bayer South Africa Pty. Ltd.” and “Taeuber and Corssen Pty. Ltd.” (T&C). Both corporations had major offices and plants in the country’s commercial centres, Cape Town and Johannesburg (Annexure ‘Africa Farben’).
  4. According to the same historic records, all subsidiaries of IG Farben served during WWII as centres of “espionage” as well as “propaganda,” lobbying Nazi ideology to the political and economic elite in every country. After WWII was lost for “IG Farben” thousands of its managers – who had participated in war crimes and tried to escape punishment – used the existing corporate global network of “IG Farben” subsidiaries to escape. Their preferred destinations were South America and South Africa . Through the same “corporate channels” thousands of high ranking members of the Nazi Party, including its “storm troopers” and street thugs organized in the SA and SS, chose South Africa as a “safe haven.”
  5. These decision takers of the Nazi regime who escaped the War Crimes Tribunal became the architects and the political as well as economic advisors of the next dictatorship: the Apartheid Regime in South Africa . Together with their ongoing economic interests – namely chemical/pharmaceutical business interests – they brought their extensive “know how” in building and “managing” a totalitarian regime to South Africa . Much the same as previously in Europe , their goal was to establish a dictatorship serving these coporate interests while keeping the majority of the population “under control.”
  6. Thus in many areas the South African Apartheid regime became a “copy” of the Nazi regime:
    1. In both cases, the dictatorial regime was the political stakeholder of globally operating corporate interests, namely the pharmaceutical and chemical industries including petrochemicals and mining.
    2. In both cases, racial ideology was used to discern a small “political elite” from the rest of the population. The ideology of the superiority of the “Aryan Race” in Germany became the ideology of the superior “White Race” in South Africa.
    3. In both cases, the population of the “inferior race” needed to be controlled. Towards this end the Nazi regime established “ghettos” all over Europe and the Apartheid regime organized its own infamous “ghettos” and “homelands”.
    4. In both cases, resistance to the dictatorial regime needed to be eliminated. Political dissidents during the Nazi regime were imprisoned and murdered in “ Auschwitz ” and other concentration camps. In South Africa the opposition was incarcerated and often perished on “ Robben Island ” and other special Apartheid prisons.
    5. In both cases the laws providing a “legitimation” to the regime and to stabilize it were much the same. Enabling legislation, establishing the dictatorship, was followed by a myriad of specific “laws” subjugating every sector of society under this regime. Many of the laws of the Nazi regime were simply copied and applied by the Apartheid regime in South Africa .
    6. A case in point were the Nazi “Racial Laws of 1936” banning any relationship or marriage between Germans (“Aryans”) and Jews. This comprehensive set of inhumane laws was replicated to prohibit any relationship between “Whites” and members of other races in South Africa.
    7. This transfer of legal “know how” for the Apartheid regime was facilitated even after WWII had ended. It was possible because – with the beginning of the “cold war” – many Nazi bureaucrats were re-appointed to top political positions in the post-war government of the Federal Republic of Germany. Leading among those was Dr Hans Globke who in post-war Germany rose to the position of “Minister of the Chancellery,” the right-hand man of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. During the Nazi era Globke had been the co-author of the “Racial Laws” in 1936 and masterminded the legal framework for establishing the Nazis as new rulers in those European countries conquered by Hitler (Annexure ‘Globke’).
  7. The particularly brutal Apartheid régime outlasted the colonial régimes of most other African nations by more than a generation. This was no coincidence. It reflected the particularly well entrenched economic interests in this country and the determination of its political stakeholders to maximize the time of economic exploitation.
  8. Leading among those economic interests were the global chemical/pharmaceutical interests and their resolve to make South Africa a bridgehead for its “investment business with diseases” across the African continent. The chemical/pharmaceutical industry became the economic pillar of the Apartheid regime and, conversely, South Africa became an economic stronghold for pharmaceutical companies.
  9. In no other African country were so many subsidiary corporations of pharmaceutical multinationals established than in South Africa . Besides “Bayer” and other “IG Farben” companies, drug manufacturers like Johnson & John­son (1930), Aventis (1931), Schering-Plough (1934), Wyeth (1937) and Abbott (1940) had already established production and distribution facilities in South Africa before and during World War II.
  10. But the real “explosion” of new pharmaceutical settlements in South Africa came immediately after WWII with the arrival of pharmaceutical multinational giants like Novartis (1946), Roche (1947) GlaxoSmithKline (1948), Merck (1949), Boehringer Ingelheim (1966) and Merck (1970). The arrival of these pharmaceutical multinationals in South Africa virtually paralleled the political cementation of the Apartheid régime.
  11. Without the economic and political help of the leading pharmaceutical export nations the Apartheid regime could not have survived. A leading promoter of investments in Apartheid South Africa was Hermann Josef Abs, Head of “Deutsche Bank.” On September 16, 1958 , he signed a bank loan of 50 Million German Marks (more than 200 Million Rands) to Anglo-American Corporation in South Africa , thus setting the stage for the long-term economical survival of this regime. For the record: “Deutsche Bank” was the house bank of “IG Farben” and was a major financier of Hitler’s war – including the construction of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Abs himself sat on the Board of “IG Farben.”
  12. The support of the German government for the Apartheid regime continued for almost four decades. All other countries in the world had already isolated the Apartheid regime – including leading industrial nations like the USA and the UK – while the German government of Helmut Kohl was still backing this regime until the very end. This reflects the particularly close political and economic ties between the government of Germany as the largest pharmaceutical export nation at that time and the South African Apartheid regime.