Author Archive

June 23, 2019

Dear Respected Mr. President

We wish you and your newly appointed Cabinet well as your term gets underway to lead our nation. As citizens of this beloved country, we are fully aware of the responsibility that you carry and we do sincerely hope and fervently pray that your respected team under your able leadership will overcome the various challenges that you inherited and that lay ahead.

While we, as citizens, do value and continue to celebrate the freedom that we have so far experienced since spaces were opened up for us all to elect a democratic government during the early part of 1994, we are still very much haunted by our country’s past. It is, we stress, a lingering past that has not disappeared from our memories and one that we all acknowledge remains unforgettable.

Mr. President, as you opened your State of the Nation address, you indeed started off on an important note when you reminded us all about the notorious ‘Native Land Act’ of 1913 and the ‘grave injustice’ that it wrought as the decades rolled by thereafter. As a matter of fact, we expected you to have continued in the same vein by recollecting in, at least, a few lines the inhumane apartheid state’s atrocities; a series of reprehensible acts that we all know wreaked havoc among our communities and that have severely wounded us all.

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June 21, 2019

Doors have opened for the Timol, Simelane and Aggett families but doubts still linger about the National Prosecuting Authority’s behaviour and culpability.

By: Tymon Smith 20 Jun 2019 Editorial and Analysis. New Frame is a not-for-profit, social justice media publication based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Several important steps have been made over the last two weeks on the thorny and long-ignored plight of the prosecution of post Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) cases. These include the announcement two weeks ago that the TRC’s victims’ database has after a nine-year legal battle been made accessible to the public, thanks to the work of the South African History Archive (SAHA); the dismissal, by a full bench of the Gauteng High Court, of the application for a stay of prosecution by former security policeman Joao Rodrigues in the Ahmed Timol matter; and the granting of an order in the case of disappeared Umkhonto weSizwe activist Nokuthula Simelane that she be officially regarded as deceased. 

On the surface, it seems that some of the bureaucratic obstacles that have hampered the search for justice for many families who lost loved ones during the struggle are slowly being moved aside by the government. This seems to show a new willingness by government to make good on one of the fundamental agreements made in order to ensure the peaceful negotiation to democracy a quarter of a century ago. That promise was the prosecution of those responsible for human rights violations who did not use the opportunity for amnesty made available to them by the TRC process. 

It seems that the complicated, murky, probably deeply uncomfortable but perhaps ultimately revealing truth of these cases is being approached. However, there are still questions about and serious accusations against previous members of the government concerning their involvement in attempts to use the organs of state, including the prosecuting authority, to prevent proper investigation and prosecution of perpetrators. 

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June 19, 2019

The legal team of Joao Rodrigues is appealing the ruling of the South Gauteng High Court on 03rd July 2019 dismissing his application for a permanent stay of prosecution.

Rodrigues-Notice-of-application-for-leave-to-appeal.pdf

June 11, 2019

For Immediate Release: 11th June 2019

The Imam Haron Foundation wishes to state that it always maintained the firm opinion that all those individuals, who were detained and who died while in custody during the apartheid era, were cruelly tortured and brutally murdered at the hands of the apartheid regime’s Security Branch (SB) members. And IHF is also of the view that this is a position that should have been recorded in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report that was eventually made public; this sadly was, however, not to be. 

Taking this position into account and as soon we heard the court’s ruling in “the interest of justice and society’s need for accountability…” regarding the Ahmed Timol Case that took place at Johannesburg South Gauteng High Court and that tangibly forced our democratic government’s justice system to bring this particular case back into the public eye as one of the TRC’s unfinished tasks. As IHF members, we were and are extremely elated on, at least, three accounts. 

Firstly, we were very glad that Imtiaz Cajee’s persistent perseverance and his sincere efforts paid off to overturn the (apartheid appointed) magistrate court’s questionable decisions of the 1972 Timol inquest; one that ruled in favor of the Security Branch members – of whom Joao Rodrigues formed a part in his capacity as an administrative clerk – who were basically responsible for having physically thrown Ahmed Timol out of – then known as – John Vorster Square police station’s 10th-story window (room 1026) on 27th of October 1971. We were thus exceedingly pleased that the court, which was led by honorable Judge S. Moshidi along with Judges J. Kollapen and J. Opperman, unanimously decided to reject and waive Joao Rodrigues’ request for ‘stay of prosecution’ and that the full bench chose to have him immediately indicted for his role in Ahmed Timol’s cold-blooded killing.

Secondly, as IHF entered the 50th year memorializing Imam Haron’s martyrdom while he was kept incommunicado for 123 days for his dogged pursuit of social justice against the inhumane apartheid system, we honestly hope that the newly appointed members of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will not only bring Mr. Rodrigues to book but that the NPA will also seek to prosecute the abductors and killers – despite the TRC amnesty that was granted – of Ms. Nokuthula Simelane. On the 6th June 2019 the Pretoria’s North Gauteng High Court officially declared Ms. Simelane to be dead though her body has never been found; the finding was, however, based on the belief that those who had applied for amnesty were directly responsible for her disappearance and her subsequent murder. 

And thirdly, we plea to our newly appointed Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola and related structures that they open upon all the previous apartheid managed inquests and all unresolved cases expeditiously without families having to knock on the doors of the Ministry. We would want the Minister and associated newly appointed government officials to (a) act pro-actively in the interest of all of these families that have encountered decades of trauma and (b) rule fairly in their as well as the nation’s interest for they have severely suffered in different ways; all of these was as a result of their cases not having been given any serious attention despite the extant evidence that had been around during these many years.

All of these families only desire closure regarding their loved ones and this can only be done if the Minister and others in the South African government acts on the promises that were made at the end of the TRC process where it was agreed that many incomplete tasks and unfinished business matters still needed to be addressed. All of those who were killed in the apartheid prison across the country belong to these categories and their cases should be given immediate attention. If this is done, then it will indeed assist in restoring the dignity of each of those individuals who had sacrificed their lives for the sake of social justice and particularly for the current and future generations that continue to experience inequalities at different levels in our democratic South African society.

Was-salaam

FOR MEDIA QUERIES AND INTERVIEWS PLEASE CONTACT: Cassiem Khan (National IHF Coordinator) on 076 6407928, or Muhammed Haron (IHF Chairperson) on 082 6266766.

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Distributed for the Imam Haron Foundation by Oryx Media.

June 09, 2019

Prosecuting authority told it had duty to resist political interference

OPINION & ANALYSIS 

Opinion

Tymon Smith

We live in the real world and we live in the postZuma era, so we know that the idea that a state in situation, man dated to act without fear or favour and purely in the interests of justice and the will of the people it serves, is a fairy tale.

We live in the real world and we live in the postZuma era, so we know that the idea that a state institution, man dated to act without fear or favour and purely in the interests of justice and the will of the people it serves, is a fairy tale.

http://www.ahmedtimol.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Court-tells-NPA-to-stop-play_ing-vic_tim-and-do-its-job-of-pun_ish_ing-apartheid-crimes.pdf

June 07, 2019

The Steve Biko Foundation welcomes the historic South Gauteng High Court unanimous ruling that gave the go ahead to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to prosecute former apartheid cop Joao Rodrigues for his allegedly involvement in the brutal murder of anti-apartheid activist, Ahmed Timol.

Please read the full statement of the Foundation on the matter for your perusal and consideration.

Thando Sipuye: Programme Officer

Steve Biko Foundation

June 07, 2019

http://www.ahmedtimol.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/20190606-Simelane-HOA-Final.pdf

June 05, 2019

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria will on Thursday, 06th June 2019 before Kubushi J in Court 2B hear an application by Thembi Nkadimeng for presuming that her sister, anti-apartheid activist, Nokuthula Simelane, is dead. Simelane, (23), was in 1983 abducted, tortured and murdered by the Security Branch. Her remains have never been discovered.

 The application includes affidavits from Thembi, her mother, Sizakele Ernestina Simelane, and private investigator, Frank Dutton. Their affidavits motivates for the Court to issue this order. Dutton’s affidavit sets out the culpability of certain former Security Branch officers and the modus operandi of the Security Branch in dealing with failed ‘kopdraai’ operations.  

 To view the Notice of Motion, visit:

http://www.ahmedtimol.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Index-Notice-of-Motion-and-Founding-Affidavit-of-Thembisile-Nkadimeng.pdf

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For Media Enquiries, contact Moray Hathorn at email: moray.hathorn@webberwentzel.com and 063 003 0640

June 03, 2019

Full Judgment Here

June 03, 2019

Johannesburg – Former apartheid cop Joao Rodrigues’s failed application for a permanent stay of prosecution for allegedly murdering activist Ahmed Timol in 1971 has been hailed as a boost for justice for the country’s painful past.

On Monday morning at the South Gauteng High Court, Judge Seun Moshidi ruled that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) could go ahead and prosecute Rodrigues for allegedly been part of the brutal murder of Timol.

https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/joao-rodrigues-to-stand-trial-for-ahmed-timol-murder-24863194

Read Full Judgment Here