The court case of murdered anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol resumes at the PALMRIDGE HIGH COURT on Monday, 28th January 2019 at 10:00 in Court Room DC6.
During the historical re-opening of the Timol Inquest, Judge Mothle on 12th October 2017 in a landmark judgment, reversed the 1972 inquest finding of suicide and found that Timol was murdered by the state. He recommended that the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) investigate the role played by the surviving state officials implicated in Timol’s death, Joao Jan Roderigues and former Security Branch Officers Neville Els and Seth Sons. (Investigations into the conduct of Els and Sons are still continuing 15 months later).
Roderiques appeared in court on 30th July 2018, almost nine months after Mothle’s ruling in October 2017, informing the court of his intention to plead not guilty to the charges of murder and defeating and/or obstructing the course of justice. In a move to further obstruct justice, his legal team applied for a permanent stay of prosecution against their client, on the basis that due to his age and the lengthy delays on the part of the State (South African Police and NPA) to have respectively investigated and prosecuted this matter, charges be withdrawn against him.
The first respondent, the Acting National Director of Public Prosecutions, has opposed Roderigues’s application and in a ground-breaking judgment for families of victims, Timol’s nephew, Imtiaz Ahmed Cajee was granted permission to be an intervening party in this matter. Affidavits filed on behalf of the Timol family include that of Vusi Pikoli and Anton Ackerman, speak to an “NPA captured by the old guard and clearly demonstrate political interference in preventing investigations in TRC matters which deal with political violence of the past. We as victim’s families cannot be held responsible for this dereliction of duty on the part of the State. Roderigues must face the full might of the law and have his day in court”, adds Cajee.
Judge Monama will preside over hearings on Monday where it is expected a court date will be set for arguments.
This case is critical to justice for the families of those who died at the hands of the state.
Note: Ahmed Timol was the 22nd of at least 73 anti-apartheid activists to die in police detention between 1963 and 1990. The families of Nicodemus Kgoathe (04 February), Simon Modipane (28 February), James Lenkoe (10 March), Caleb Mayekiso (01 June), Michael Shivuthe (17 June), Jacob Monnakgotla (10 September) and Imam Haron (27 September) will this year be commemorating their 50th anniversary of their deaths in apartheid-era police detention. The Minister of Justice announced the re-opening of the inquest into the death of Dr Hoosen Haffejee who died in police detention in 1977.
Ahmed Timol was a teacher, a communist and active member of the underground anti-apartheid movement. He was arrested late on 22 October 1971 and died on 27 October. The re-opened inquest into his death heard evidence from forensic pathologists and a trajectory expert to the effect that Timol had been so badly assaulted prior to falling that he may have been unconscious, and that if he had dived through the window as police alleged, his body could not have landed where it did. Timol was posthumously awarded the National Order of Luthuli on 11 December 2009 and the Isitwalandwe Medal on 12th January 2019.
Issued by the Ahmed Timol Family Trust