Basson says Mandela re-appointed him

Wouter Basson, a cardiologist charged with involvement in South Africa's apartheid government's biological and chemical warfare program, testified on Tuesday that Nelson Mandela re-appointed him to the South African National Defense Force.

Basson told a professional conduct committee that the reason he was reassigned to the position in 1995 was that the United States and British governments saw him as a threat. He has previously said that the surgeon general and a coordinating committee were in charge of the warfare program and that he carried out orders solely as a soldier, Times Live reports.

"The American and British governments at that stage regarded me as a threat and wanted to get me under control," Basson said, according to Times Live. "The initial suggestion was that they should appoint me and that I work for them as a chemical and biological warfare consultant. My role would have been to ensure that technologies that were developed in Western worlds were carried over to developing countries for peaceful purposes."

Basson said that Mandela then appointed him as head of cardiology at the military hospital in a civilian capacity.

"The South African government did not like the idea of one of their citizens working for other governments and president Mandela gave orders that I must be appointed in the defense force again in a civilian capacity," Basson said, according to Times Live.

Basson has been accused of telling half truths on the witness stand by Salie Joubert, who is acting for the pro forma complaint. Basson was previously acquitted for his involvement in the germ warfare sector of the apartheid government by a constitutional court in 2005.