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Wednesday, June 10, 1998 Published at 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK

World: Africa

SA Truth Commission hears more details of apartheid dirty tricks

South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been hearing further details of alleged dirty tricks involving the use of biological and chemical warfare during the apartheid era.

The Commission also released a government document from 1986 which recommended that Nelson Mandela should be released from jail only after he became too physically weak to pose a political threat.

Schalk van Rensburg, a researcher at the laboratories producing the weapons, told the hearing that it was his understanding that toxins would be used to induce brain damage in Mr Mandela.

The Commission was also told of a project carried out at the laboratories where toxins, bacteria and lethal chemicals were concocted for use against political opponents.

The products included cigarettes dipped in anthrax and chocolates poisoned with cyanide.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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