Statement from the Ahmed Timol Family Trust
WHY THE PURSUIT OF JUSTICE FOR AHMED TIMOL MATTERS
Inquest resumes in Pretoria on Monday 46 years after his death
The website www.sahistory.org.za lists the names of 73 anti-apartheid activists who died in detention between 1963 and1990. Nobody has ever been held accountable for any of those deaths.
The 22nd name on the list is Ahmed Timol, who died on 27 October 1971, four days after being arrested at a police roadblock.
In Timol’s case, as with the others, inquests were held to rubber-stamp the police version of the death. According to police, Timol committed suicide by jumping out of a 10th floor window at John Vorster Square. Other deaths in detention were ascribed to “accidents” such as slipping in the shower…
Those who knew Ahmed Timol, and knew of the barbarism of apartheid police torturers, strongly believed the police version was a lie.
Approximately 21 years ago, Timol’s nephew, Imtiaz Ahmed Cajee, began researching his uncle’s death. He produced a book, Timol: Quest for Justice, and was the driving force behind the production of a documentary and exhibition of the same theme.
Re-opening the inquest was the long-term goal, a goal that was achieved last month in Johannesburg with the assistance of the South African non–profit Foundation on Human Rights (FHR); Howard Varney, a senior program adviser with The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICT), law firm Webber Wentzel, the Legal Resource Centre (LRC), and super-sleuth, Frank Dutton, among others.
After hearing five-days of evidence in June, Mr Justice Billy Mothle ordered the inquest to resume on Monday (24 July at 10am) in Court 2D at the North Gauteng High Court (corner Paul Kruger & Madiba Streets, Pretoria). Members of the public are welcome to attend.
Among witnesses expected to testify are apartheid era policemen with direct knowledge of Timol’s detention and interrogation.
* Elsewhere in Pretoria, the Ahmed Timol Exhibition has been set up at the Ditsong Museum (149 Visagie Street) and will run until 22 September. Entrance costs R15 for children and R32 for adults. The Museum is open Monday to Friday between 8am and 4pm.
For more information please call Benny Gool on 082 5566 556 or Roger Friedman on 0798966 899.
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