Project Coast: Apartheid's Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme

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

THE PRIVATE COMPANIES
In 1986, at the same time that Goosen was replaced by Swanepoel at RRL, Jan Lourens left the Special Operations Unit to start a private company called Systems Research and Development (SRD). SRD started in Lourens' garage and only later moved to its own site. SRD had four components:344Phoenix Service Station, a garage near the Special Forces Headquarters that could service the Nissan Skylines which Lourens had modified when he was a member of Special Operations. They made them faster and installed radio equipment in the cars.345SRD Electronics, a laboratory that took on chemical defence projects and which provided Basson with an electronic surveillance and countersurveillance capacity, at his request.346QB Labs, a company which did mechanical work. The company's main product was the packing of new generation teargas into hand-held spray devices for the South African Police, but other projects were also. Bart Hettema was in charge of the aerosol programme and liaised closely with Lothar Neethling in this regard.347In about 1987 QB Labs began producing covert assassination weapons with the assistance of former Rhodesian and ex-EMLC machinist, Philip Morgan. Morgan manufactured the assassination weapons designed by Lourens. The weapons included348:
Signet rings topped with a coin, covering a small chamber which could contain a powder;349
Spoon-like blades that would contain a chemical in a cavity. One was a cigarette box from which a sharpened spoon would spring. The spoon contained poison which would enter the victim's body. These spoon weapons were for use in prison where spoon stabbings are commonplace. About seven were manufactured at QB Labs. The

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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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