Project Coast: Apartheid's Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme

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

ALLEGATIONS OF FRAUD:
THE SALE OF DELTA G SCIENTIFIC AND RRL

In his opening address in the criminal case against Wouter Basson, State prosecutor Anton Ackerman told the court that Basson saw himself as an international businessman with a personal empire in five areas: property; finance; trading; scientific/production/research; and investment. All of these, the prosecution claimed, were bankrolled from Project Coast funds.539

Ackerman told the court that the prosecution believed State funds had been siphoned off in various ways. First, he said, Basson set up an extensive network of companies in South Africa and abroad. At all times, confidantes appointed as executive officers acted as Basson's nominees. Funds channelled to fixed deposit accounts abroad served as “performance bonds” or security for the purchase of commodities. The prosecutors maintained that loans acquired against such collateral had been used by Basson for personal gain. Bank accounts were opened in the name of existing SADF front companies (or alleged fronts known to suppliers) and funds due to the SADF were channelled, according to the prosecution, through second accounts for Basson's personal use.540

The State claimed that towards the end of 1986, Basson established three companies in the Cayman Islands: WPW Investments Inc., PCM International Inc., and Medchem Inc. Basson's United States friend and business associate David Webster was instrumental in establishing and dealing with the companies. In each case, Basson was vice-president of the companies.541

The multitude of companies were restructured often, sometimes on an annual basis and their names were frequently changed. Broadly speaking, the companies operating outside South Africa fell under the holding company WPW Investments; those that operated internally came under the umbrella of the Wisdom group.542

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