Project Coast: Apartheid's Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme

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

THE PHASES OF PROJECT COAST'S DEVELOPMENT

According to one of the first scientists to be recruited to Delta C Scientific, the work of Delta G started as early as 1982 from laboratories at Special Forces Headquarters.528 The earliest document from Roodeplaat Research Laboratories seen by the authors is dated November 1983. It is a list of income and expenditure which shows that the company was in the process of being established. Minutes of directors meetings in 1984 reveal that the recruitment of staff was underway.529

Both companies expanded and developed throughout the mid-1980s under the leadership of veterinarian Dr Daan Goosen at RRL and former chemistry lecturer Dr Willie Basson at Delta G Scientific. Both companies underwent changes between 1987 and 1988 when their managing directors were replaced by former Special Forces colleagues of Basson. Special Forces dentist and hospital administrator, Dr Wynand Swanepoel, took over as Managing Director of RRL and a medical doctor, Philip Mijburgh replaced Willie Basson as Managing Director of Delta G Scientific. The timing of the change in leadership is significant since, according to a briefing document prepared for the Minister of Defence, the period March 1988-April 1990 was the “Commercialisation phase” of the programme.530

Official Project Coast documents531 (written towards the end of the programme) set out the phases of the programme as follows:

Phase 1: the Establishment Phase (April 1982-March 1988)

The establishment of the front companies and production facilities: Delta G Scientific, Roodeplaat Research Laboratories and Infladel.

During this period some 20 tons of CR were produced by Delta G Scientific of which 10 tons were used by the army and the South African Police for weapon production.532

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