Statement from the Ahmed Timol Family Trust


Pursuant to the finding of the Honourable Judge Mothle in the re-opened inquest into the death of the late Ahmed Timol, the National Prosecuting Authority charged Joao Rodrigues with Timol’s murder as well as defeating and/or obstructing the administration of justice.

The Honourable Judge Ramarumo Monama of the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg has been allocated as the pre-trial judge for Mr Rodrigues’ criminal hearing.

On 18 September 2018, Mr Rodrigues’ legal representatives indicated to Judge Monama that they intended to apply for a permanent stay of the prosecution against Mr Rodrigues.

On 19 October 2018, Mr Rodrigues instituted an application in the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division, Pretoria. The application cited the Acting National Director of Public Prosecutions, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and the Minister of Police as respondents.

Mr Rodrigues’ application sought to declare the criminal proceedings instituted against him as an infringement of his constitutional rights. On this basis he sought a permanent stay, and the quashing of the criminal proceedings in respect of the charge of murdering Timol.

Mr Rodrigues’ application contended that the prosecution against him was inherently unfair and infringed his fundamental rights to a fair trial. He alleged that the delay of 47 years in prosecuting him was unreasonably long. And, that the NPA did not have sufficient evidence against him.

On 5 November 2018, the Timol family, represented by Mr Imtiaz Cajee and Mr Mohammad Timol instituted an application to intervene as a respondent in Mr Rodrigues’ application. The Timol family contended that it had a direct and substantial interest in the relief sought by Mr Rodrigues. This forms the basis of their opposition.  The Timol family maintains that the prosecution against Mr Rodrigues should proceed and that the delay, evidentiary issues, and health of Mr Rodrigues should not impede the criminal proceedings against him.

In addition to the Timol family, representatives of other families whose relatives died in detention at the hands of former security branch officers have expressed their intention to participate in the proceedings.

The Acting National Director of Public Prosecutions has indicated that he will be opposing Mr Rodrigues’ application. He has been ordered to file his answering affidavits by Wednesday, 14 November 2018.

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development is to indicate whether he will oppose of abide by the application by Friday, 9 November 2018.

The Minister of Police has indicated he will be abiding.

Judge Monama has indicated that the parties will reconvene on 20 November 2018 to agree on dates for the filing of papers and the hearing of the application.