Chemical And Biological Agents: Project Coast

1207 words - 5 pages

Project Coast was a ploy on using chemical and biological agents on the inhabitants of South Africa; tear gas was not enough for the Prime Minister at the time PW Botha (Gould & Folb, 2002). Botha employed Wouter Basson who headed the program. Basson used a couple of extremely lethal agents such as CX powder and mustard gas. The Apartheid government took aim at political rivals. Project Coast known for research, development, and deploy of chemical and biological warfare. Basson was known in many parts as Dr. Death following the events of Project Coast. Basson based his research in many western nations that were already leading the advancement in weapon programs. Basson conducted a variety of trial and error experiments in the name of the Apartheid Government. Biological experiments stemmed from some well-known secretly conducted hypothesis such as black bomb that targeted the country’s black population. Basson took to using viruses which included anthrax, ricin, and E. coli. Nerve gases were general nature for Basson with Sarin and VX. Many of Basson’s concoctions used by the police and military forces alike. Experiments associated with Project Coast have not been uncovered due to the nature of secrecy. The 1980’s one of the most shrouded times for South Africa and its people with the threat of chemical weapons on its own people as a control and scare tactic. The original purpose was to combat weapons used against its troops in the Angola conflicts. Acquiring information and technology from outside sources was the government’s priority as their threat analysis elevated throughout the years. South Africa took many of the advancements learned from Cuba to further their endeavors.

Development
According to Gould and Folb (2002) Project Coast was a four phase development. Phase one established the production facilities and dummy companies. Phase two known as the Commercialisation [sic] phase built the companies from the ground up so that it would pass any scrutiny that may arise if any background investigation occurred (Gould & Folb, 2002). Phase three, Privatisation [sic] phase saw the dummy companies on the surface sold to establish a committee with no real authority under Botha (Gould & Folb, 2002). Phase four, Normalisation [sic] phase completed with the introduction of MDMA and methaqualone as crowd control incapcitants (Gould & Folb, 2002).
Background
During the 1970s and 1980s overcrowding plague the country that in turn caused an outcry from its people for change. Polices in place didn’t help the increase so the people spoke back. The government officials like many could not have a division of its people and policies so actions had to lead. Controlling the crowds took to new ideas and strategies from the government hence the inception of project coast. Crowd control agents were the first step which progressed to more devious means of controlling the public. Botha elected in 1978 which marked the turn of thinking towards more of a defensive...

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