A doctor stripped of his medical licence in Saskatchewan took the stand in a South African courtroom Monday, sobbing as he described grisly acts he committed during the apartheid era.

Jack Bothma was a witness for the prosecution against another physician Wouter Basson, also known as "Dr. Death," who faces 61 charges of murder, fraud, and drug trafficking.

Bothma revealed his role in the death of three black prisoners back in 1983.

He testified that he and another man injected drugs into three convicts who had been bound to trees.

They then experimented on them, applying an ointment Basson wanted to test. Basson's use of chemical and biological weapons has been likened to Nazi Germany's Joseph Mengele.

Wiping away tears, Bothma told the court how he sedated the prisoners again as his colleague prepared to inject a lethal drug.

He said he felt intimidated by the other man, as he helped load the bodies on a plane so they could be dumped into the Indian Ocean.

Basson is accused of masterminding years of secret experiments and murders conducted by the military in South Africa before apartheid ended and blacks took power.

It's believed Bothma, who has refused to talk about his past until now, agreed to testify Monday to try to avoid prosecution himself. His story was first exposed on CBC's The National last fall.

After moving to Canada, Bothma became an orthopedic surgeon in Saskatchewan. But he lost his temporary licence recently after failing his medical exams.

Despite the admissions on the stand, many people interviewed by the CBC in North Battleford, Sask. said they stand solidly behind their old doctor.

At least one South African said support for Bothma is misguided.

Dan O'Meara, a political science professor, moved to Montreal after seven of his friends were murder during the apartheid regime.

"This is something that is in flagrant violation of international law, of the Hippocratic oath, and all the values that everybody in this country is supposed to take as the core values of Canada," O'Meara said.

After losing his medical licence Bothma sold his house, but he may still wind up back in the country.

Revenue Canada has launched legal action, claiming Bothma owes $100,000 in unpaid taxes.