26th OCTOBER 1971: TUESDAY

October 26, 2017

26th October 1971: Tuesday

During the inquest that followed in 1972, this statement was made: Detective Officer Van Rensburg, Lieutenant Ras and Warrant Officer Liebenberg had visited the Timol residence on Tuesday, 26 October 1971 at 13:30.  The following conversation then took place between Ahmed’s crying mother Hawa, and Van Rensburg:

(EXTRACT FROM VAN RENSBURG’s STATEMENT)

HAWA:                         I want to see my son?

VAN RENSBURG:     You can’t see him.

HAWA:                         Why did you arrest him?

VAN RENSBURG:    He was naughty

HAWA:                       My son was never naughty. I have never given him a hiding.

VAN RENSBURG:    Listen, old lady, a child must get hiding.  If you had at that stage given him a hiding, you would not be crying now.

The reason for the visit was to find a book belonging to Ahmed that had a list of names inside it.  On questioning the police about the whereabouts of Ahmed, Hawa remarked to one of them: “Go home and speak to your wife and find out what is it like bringing up a child and not knowing the whereabouts of your child.”  Hawa continued: “If there was a zip in front of my body, you could unzip me and see how I am aching internally”. 

It was while Salim was held in this room that he thinks that he saw Ahmed. Salim says, “I had endured systematic torture for approximately four to five days. At one moment the vault door was open. I was short-sighted and my glasses were removed when I was tortured. I could see relatively clearly through the vault door and the door of the room when I saw a figure being moved along by two security officers. I realised that it was Ahmed. The walk was similar to Ahmed and I noticed that he was not walking normally. He had a black hood over his head and appeared to be in a lot of pain. This happened in a few seconds. Looking at Ahmed’s appearance and condition, they must have been taking him to the toilet. I remember the bathroom and toilet towards the end of the floor and I was also taken there. I washed the blood off my face, body and clothes there. At times there was a bucket brought in the vault for me to urinate in. TIMOL – A QUEST FOR JUSTICE


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