Civil Cooperation Bureau
The Civil Cooperation Bureau (CCB) was a South African death squad whose operations were under the authority of Defence Minister General Magnus Malan during the 1980s in the Apartheid era. The CCB operated domestically as well as abroad, and reported directly to State President P. W. Botha. CCB headquarters was located in the suburb of Rietondale in the capital Pretoria, nearby to the Union Buildings and to the presidential residence of Libertas.
Perhaps the most controversial of South Africa's security apparatus, the CCB has been accused of torture, human experiments, political assassinations and the training and funding of militant groups throughout the world. The CCB was among the most secretive of the apartheid regime's agencies along with the National Intelligence Service and the SADF's nuclear development programme.
Second only to the Defence Force and its activities, the CCB received the largest annual budget among all the country's departments, however the exact amount has remained classified. The CCB represented a new method of state-directed warfare in the South African context, part of the South African Special Forces but structured and functioning in a way intended to make it seem it was not.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission considered the CCB to be responsible for numerous killings, and suspected it of many more.
Inaugurated in 1986 with the approval of Minister of Defense General Magnus Malan and Chief of SADF General Jannie Geldenhuys, the CCB became fully functional by 1988. As a reformulation of Project Barnacle, the nature of its operations were disguised, and it disassociated itself from all other Special Forces and DMI (Directorate Military Intelligence) structures. The CCB formed the third arm of the Third Force, alongside Vlakplaas C1 and the Special Tasks projects.
Reports about the CCB were first published in 1990 by the now-defunct weekly Vrye Weekblad, and more detailed information emerged later in the 1990s at a number of TRC amnesty hearings. General Joep Joubert, in his testimony before the TRC, revealed that the CCB was a long-term special forces project in the South African Defence Force. It had evolved from the 'offensive defence' philosophy prevalent in P. W. Botha's security establishment.
Nominally a civilian organisation that could be plausibly disowned by the apartheid government, the CCB drew its operatives from the SADF itself or the South African Police. According to Joubert, many operatives did not know that they were members of an entity called the CCB.
In the wake of the National Party government's Harms Commission, whose proceedings were considered seriously flawed by analysts and the official opposition, the CCB was disbanded in August 1990. Some members were transferred to other security organs. No prosecutions resulted.