Project Coast: Apartheid's Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme

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

THE DE KLERK YEARS (1989-1993) AND
THE USE OF CBW AGENTS

By 1988 Delta C Scientific was well established in its Midrand facility and RRL was operational. Both companies were under new management of men close to Basson, Philip Mijburgh at Delta G and Wynand Swanepoel at RRL.405 The internal war in South Africa was still raging. In August 1988 Vlakplaas hit squad commander, Eugene de Kock, was instructed by his commanding officer, on orders from P.W. Botha, to bomb Cosatu House, headquarters of the trade union federation.406 Later that year he was instructed to destroy Khotso House, home of the South African Council of Churches. According to the testimony of the former Minister of Police before the Truth Commission, the instruction for this too came from P.W. Botha.407 In October, de Kock was instructed to set fire to Khanya House where the South African Bishops Conference had its offices.408 South Africa was still providing covert support to UNITA forces in Angola.409

In 1989, F.W. De Klerk replaced P.W. Botha as President. Although De Klerk was signalling political changes, security police and covert military units continued operating as before, in fact, between 1990 and 1994 the levels of political violence were higher than ever before. A war was being fought on the streets of Transvaal townships, in KwaZulu Natal, in Cape townships and in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape. In February 1989 a police brigadier attended a meeting to plan the murder of 17 ANC members who the police believed would be leaving the country to attend a meeting in Swaziland. The result was the murder of three South African National Students Congress members.410 During that year cross border raids were still being planned. The security forces conGentrated their attention on Namibia, about to hold its first democratic election. The Civil Co-operation Bureau planned and carried out an operation to murder SWAPO leader Anton Lubowski in September 1989.411

CCB operative Pieter Botes testified in the Basson trial. He said that in August 1989, he was given four brown glass jars by CCB commander Joe

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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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