Project Coast: Apartheid's Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme

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

INTERNATIONAL LINKS

No evidence was presented during the TRC hearings or the Basson trial to suggest that there was any official foreign government support for the South African chemical and biological warfare programme. But Basson did travel extensively, as did others who were part of the Project: the individual scientists had contact with their colleagues abroad and Basson claims to have created an international network of intelligence agents.

Extensive reference to Basson's alleged contact with foreign intelligence agents was made by his legal representatives during his trial. These included reference to his close relationship with Yusaf Murgham, who the defence lawyers claimed was an important Libyan intelligence agent. This was denied by others who knew Murgham. In most instances when reference was made to Basson's contact with intelligence agents, they remained unnamed. Public access to the transcript of Basson's bail application hearing regarding the charges of fraud, in which many of Basson's international contacts were named is prohibited by the in camera ruling made by the Judge who presided over the hearing. The transcript of the Basson's bail application with regard to the charges relating to the possession and dealing in drugs, is a public document.

Knobel said during the TRC hearing that Basson had “penetrated” the chemical and biological weapons programmes of Russia, Iraq and elsewhere.704 Similar claims were made in South African newspapers which reported that during the Gulf War Basson entered Iraq “under deep cover” and used his contacts to gain access to secret information about Iraqi chemical and biological weapons. He was reported to have passed this information to Israel, resulting in residents in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa being issued gas masks and special packs to counter the effects of biochemical weapons.705 These claims are difficult, if not impossible, to corroborate, as are Basson's claims about his international network.

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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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