One was horrified by the type of physical torture which detainees were subjected to in the infamous “Truth Room 1026” on the 10th floor of John Vorster Square. Their screams were muffled by the sound proof vault in which they were beaten as they were kept for hours in the helicopter position. We heard testimony from Salim Essop who flew in from London and was convinced to relive his trauma by testifying to what had happened to him. Essop had been arrested and detained with Timol, and relayed how security policemen positioned on either side of him would force him to squat as they mule kicked his thighs with jack boots until he would pass out, and they would proceed to urinate on his face. This was the depravity to which South Africa’s security police had fallen.  
 
Essop was so badly brutalised over the course of five days of interrogation that he was unable to walk for months and confined to a prison hospital. His testimony provided a glimpse of what Timol must have been subjected to, with his depressed skull fracture and multiple broken bones, most wounds having been sustained prior to his fall according to forensic pathologists. Timol, who was suffering a brain injury from having been beaten with an iron rod, unable to walk from days of beatings, was in no condition to have ran past Rodrigues and launched himself out of a closed window. This is the nonsense Rodrigues still maintains decades later despite all the evidence. 
 
When will apartheid’s torturers face the nation and ask for forgiveness? We have given them every chance to come clean and to confess, offering mercy in return. Now is the time to seek justice for those who died torturous deaths at the hands of men who continue to scoff at our attempts at truth and reconciliation. As the ANC Veterans League, we are now asking the NPA to pursue these cases of deaths in detention with vigour.
 
* Ebrahim Ebrahim is a Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Counsellor to the Presidency. He was incarcerated on Robben Island for a total of 18 years, and headed the ANC underground in Swaziland.
 
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.