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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 527

Paragraph Numbers 17 to 33

Volume 2

Chapter 6

Part Part4

Subsection 2

Department of Foreign Affairs

17 The key goals of the secret projects appear to have been related to the collection of information (such as Toegang tot Afrika – Entrance to Africa), building a positive

image of South Africa, and sanctions busting (such as projects Blue, Arcadia, Grail, Sixpack, and Opals).

18 Project Blue established a financial trust, the Taussig Familienstiftung (Taussig Family Trust) registered in Liechtenstein, which acted as a conduit for secret transactions and through which secret projects could be managed. It guaranteed payment of debts owed by projects Grail and Arcadia. Transfers included R3 336 891.40 to Rothschilds Bank in November 1985, and R11.4 million to an unknown recipient through Credit Suisse Geneva in February 1986. Taussig guarantees issued to the Liechtenstein bank include one for 1,2 million pounds sterling for the purchase of major equipment for Grail, and another for 1,5 million pounds sterling plus interest regarding certain shares in Finlan Group PLC. The assets of the trust were estimated at around R20 million.

19 Project Grail was a sanctions-busting operation and was the code name of a large company in the United Kingdom, started around 1977 with help from Rothschilds Bank. It involved the buying and selling of computer equipment and the provision of equipment and services for disaster recovery of computer back-ups. "The true identity of the company is hidden by layers of trusts and holding companies, starting with a Jersey trust based on a deceased family trust, thereafter a holding company in Jersey, thereafter a holding company in the UK. South African associations are buried deep."

20 Project Thurston involved obtaining television material for the SABC via United Studios, Cablelink, Satlink, Filmtel and MGI/IMGC.

21 Front organisations and public relations companies organised visits to South Africa by prominent leading European personalities and United States business people and Congress leaders through projects such as Acoda and Swart Sakelui (Black Business People).

22 Individuals were paid to establish relationships and information flow, particularly in Africa. Mr John Coker, a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) journalist and specialist on Africa with connections to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was employed at an annual fee of R125 000 plus airfares to act as a source of information and convey information on South Africa’s behalf. A similar arrangement existed with a French businessperson, Mr Jean Yves Ollivier, employed to advance South Africa’s interests in francophone Africa.

23 Project Swaziland is described as follows. "Young King Mswati III took it for granted that, like his father, he would be furnished with the part-time services of an attorney at the expense of the South African government." Pretoria lawyer Mr Ernst Penzhorn was employed at an annual fee of around R50 000 to "advise the King generally, accompany him to conferences, draft speeches for him, persuade him not to act in undesirable ways, and protect him from the machinations of undesirable characters".

24 R100 000 per annum was paid for several years to the South African Traditional Healers’ Council whose leading figures were allegedly "held in high esteem in many African countries for the independent advice they give" and whose connections brought valuable information.

South African Police

25 The SAP initiated certain special secret projects from November 1985, as directed by the SSC on 16 November 1985. From that year, Project Aristotle ran the National Students’ Federation, which was financed through a business trust until press disclosures led to its dissolution, with compensation paid to two agents who suffered losses resulting from their exposure as agents. Project Einstein ran a similar programme in the black tertiary education sector.

26 Project Romulus was aimed at combating organisations and individuals, mainly among the youth in the Eastern Cape and Western Transvaal, who disrupted public order through intimidation and violence. It encompassed several sub-projects, one of which was the youth project Operation Gordian, which had offices in Port Elizabeth and Durban and cost a total of R222 820. Further sub-projects included Operation Voltaire, Operation Ukumelana (to oppose), and the Alliance for Free South Africans.

27 Further SAP projects include:

28 Project Bismarck, dating back to around 1985, which was a cover for operational activities and the canalisation of state funds to fronts, and provided a cover legend to SAP members involved in STRATCOM projects.

29 Project Polemos was "a front to combat radical propaganda in the Eastern Cape".

30 Project Cicero aimed "to undermine the power base of radical youth organisations".

31 Project Buye (Returned) aimed "to show members of Umkhonto weSizwe who have returned from overseas that violent actions to reach political goals are not acceptable".

National Intelligence Service

32 The STRATCOM projects of the NIS, as reported by the Kahn Committee, relate mainly to projects in the religious sector aimed at bolstering and building a conservative religious approach and to combat liberation theology. These included, for example, Project Delectus, to implement former President de Klerk’s initiative regarding peace and justice through the creation of a Coalition for Christian Action by means of a network of writers.

Department of National Education

33 A single secret project undertaken by the Department of National Education concerned the payment of income tax due on fees paid to the visiting English cricket team in the 1989–90 cricket season. After a meeting with the South African Cricket Union, the "Minister of National Education asked the Minister of Finance to cause the payment of the income tax of each of the players to be effected through a fund that had been created from the Secret Services Account for secret projects of the Department of National Education". This required an amount of R535 825.15. It was explained that if the English players were to do this favour for the South African Cricket Union, they should be given the maximum financial reward to help them through the lean years that would follow, since the tour was bound to result in reprisals and losses for the English players.

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