Project Coast: Apartheid's Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme

By Chandré Gould; Peter Folb et al. | Go to book overview

ROODEPLAAT RESEARCH LABORATORIES

Roodeplaat Research Laboratories was initially established as an animal research and testing facility for substances produced at Delta C Scientific. Its brief later expanded to include research into chemical, and more particularly, biological warfare agents.

The company was started by Dr Daan Goosen. In 1975 Goosen qualified as a veterinarian. Three years later he obtained an Honours degree in clinical pathology, toxicology and pharmacology and joined the lecturing staff at Pretoria University's veterinary faculty. In 1978 he was appointed director of the HA Grove Animal Research Centre attached to HF Verwoerd Hospital (now called the Pretoria Academic Hospital).

Research animals at the centre included mice, hamsters, beagle dogs, pigs and primates (chiefly baboons and vervet monkeys). Goosen said that South Africa was in a particularly “fortunate position in regard to the supply of primates, which were much sought after internationally for research purposes and in this regard, various projects were launched jointly with scientists in the USA, France, Austria and Germany”.228 The staff at the animal research centre included microbiologists. One scientist, Dr Hennie Jordaan, conducted research on the use of radioisotopes for medical purposes on behalf of the Atomic Energy Board.

One of the research projects carried out by the HA Grove Institute on behalf of the SADF dealt with the treatment of trauma. The research was led by a Professor Schlag, of Vienna. Extensive research was done on primates regarding trauma treatment with civilian interest being in the trauma treatment of vehicle accident victims.229

Some time during 1982, Goosen was approached by scientists from Delta G Scientific for guidance on the use of animals for experiments with the “household chemicals” they were manufacturing—“like swimming pool acid”. This was certainly a cover story. He advised them on the basics of

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Project Coast: Apartheid's Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • Foreword v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Acronyms xiii
  • Introduction* 1
  • Summary of Findings 7
  • The Botha Regime and Total Strategy 11
  • The Regional Context 21
  • Chemical Weapons in South Africa Prior to Project Coast 31
  • Project Coast's Links with the Police and Operational Units of the Military 47
  • Getting Down to Business 57
  • Roodeplaat Research Laboratories 69
  • The Private Companies 103
  • The de Klerk Years (1989-1993) and the Use of Cbw Agents 115
  • The Phases of Project Coast's Development 143
  • Allegations of Fraud: The Sale of Delta G Scientific and Rrl 145
  • The Intention of the Programme 153
  • Incidents of Poisoning 159
  • Structure and Management of Project Coast 169
  • International Links 191
  • Closing Down 209
  • Basson's Arrest and the Trc Hearing 223
  • The Criminal Trial of Dr Wouter Basson 231
  • Notes 241
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