The South African newspaper "The Daily Mail & Guardian" has revealed in its last issue the horrid story of hundreds of gay soldiers that army officials sent, during the time of the apartheid, between the years 1971 and 1989, to go through series of treatments that quite often ended in compulsory sex-change opperations.

According to the newspaper these opperations were imperfect and caused those who went through them severe physical and mental disabilities. Some of them couldn't stand their new condition and commited suicide.

Surgeons who served in the army told the newspaper that at least 50 soldiers were sent each year to a military hospital to go through 'rehabilitation' in a secret division called 'division 22'. The candidates for treatment were located during their stay in the drafting base. Others were located while at boot camp, were seperated from their friends and sent to that secret division.

During their stay at that military hospital the soldiers were subjected to systematic injection of hormonal medications and to electric shock therapy. All this was done in the intention of making them dislike their sexual orientation. Those who survived the treatment unchanged were forced to go through sex altering surgery, as well as an action called by the physicians "chemical castration".

According to the testimony of the surgeons some soldiers didn't make it through those treatments and died while in 'division 22'.

All these details were discovered in a special research done by a South African group called The Council for Medical research.

One of the physicians involved in the affair denied completely all the evidences of the surgeons, and said that the soldiers suffered only mild inconvenience as a result of the treatment, but in no way were any surgical procedures performed in them. In addition he claimed that all the soldiers sent to 'division 22' expressed their desire to go through this therapy.

The spokesman of the South African military said that all the findings of the report will be investigated thoroughly.

translated by me from a Hebrew report on www.gayway.co.il

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