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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 September 2006, 09:52 GMT 10:52 UK
SA's 'Doctor Death' not resigning
Dr Wouter Basson
Dr Basson is a divisive and controversial figure in South Africa
Apartheid-era biological weapons chief Dr Wouter Basson has vowed not to resign from his army post despite being suspended on full pay seven years ago.

The man dubbed "Dr Death" for his alleged role in poisoning opponents of apartheid told South African media he felt no moral obligation to resign.

Top army officials confirmed recently he has been receiving R50,000 ($6,800, 3,600) a month without doing any work.

In 2002 he was acquitted on 67 charges and no more legal action is planned.

He rose to prominence in South Africa after horrific testimony in the 1990s at Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings.

Suspension

Dr Basson said he had met the country's defence minister this week, but he was not planning to step down from his medical post in the defence forces.

"I did not suspend myself... If I had a choice, I would be back working," he told SAFM.

Defence officials have promised to take action, but have not given any details.

Dr Basson is the former head of the defence force's chemical and biological war programme and was accused of being involved in a number of plots to poison anti-apartheid activists, including Nelson Mandela, using deadly bacteria.

He was allowed to operate in the private sector after his suspension and has been working as a cardiologist at three hospitals in Cape Town.

Staff in the Military Health Service have complained to the media that it is unacceptable that nobody has replaced Dr Basson as their chief cardiologist while he is suspended.

The National Prosecuting Authority said in October last year he would not face trial for his alleged role in crimes outside South Africa - following a recommendation by the Constitutional Court that he be tried on charges of crimes against humanity.


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