Project Coast: Apartheid's Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme

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

THE INTENTION OF THE PROGRAMME

A defensive chemical and biological warfare programme would be defined as one which focuses on the development of protective clothing and on the training of soldiers to withstand CBW attacks. The Project Manager, Gen. Knobel, described Project Coast as having been defensive.568 Basson described the programme as having been both defensive and offensive, and he exaggerated the offensive nature of the programme when he needed to motivate the way in which the front companies should be privatised.569 It is useful to understand the original intention of the programme and to evaluate whether the original intention changed over time.

A formerly top secret military document, authored by Basson, explicitly mentions the offensive intention of the programme:

“Objective 4

(c) To conduct research with regard to basic aspects of chemical warfare
(offensive)

(d) To conduct research with regard to basic aspects of biological warfare
(offensive)…

(h) To conduct research with regard to covert as well as conventional systems…
Objective 6: To establish an industrial capacity with regard to the production
of offensive and defensive CBW equipment…

Objective 7: to give operational and technical CBW support (offensive and
defensive). This is usually divided into two sections:

a. Conventional. This kind of support usually entails supplying equipment
(offensive and defensive) that has not yet been cleared for use by standard
procedures. This includes storage of the equipment.

b. Covert. This support is given to the Commanding General Special Forces
and his organisations, Chief of Staff Intelligence and his organisations and the
SA Police and National Intelligence. This service includes the preparation of
equipment, training with the equipment, transporting the equipment as well
as support during application.

-153-

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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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