Joao Rodrigues – Another Court Appearance


01 August 2019

More than a year after ​been charged on 30th July 2017, Joao Antonio Rodrigues will make another court appearance (see timeline below) at the Palmridge High Court on Friday, 02 August 2019 relating to the criminal case against him in the 1971 murder of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol. The 1972 inquest ruling was overturned by Judge Billy Mothle on 12th October 2017 which found that Timol was murdered and did not commit suicide.

A court date for the criminal case is as yet to be set as Rodrigues’s legal team applies for leave to appeal after the full Bench of the South Gauteng High Court rejected his application for a permanent stay of prosecution on 3rd June 2019.

The National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shamila Batohi in her maiden appearance before parliament on 09th July 2019 told MPs that there were 37 active investigations of these TRC cases by the directorate for priority crime investigation, commonly known as the Hawks. She said that a task team of the national prosecutions authority was also reviewing the cases. Batohi was addressing the national assembly’s justice portfolio committee, to which the NPA accounts.

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services (DOJ & CD), Ronald Lamola in his budget speech in parliament on 16 July 2019 remarked that the recent judgment on the Rodrigues matter was noted. He assured victims with similar cases that interference with prosecutorial independence of the NPA will not be tolerated as we continue towards a durable and sustainable solution to all TRC related cases including consideration of interest of victims.

Timol’s nephew, Imtiaz Ahmed Cajee, a pivotal catalyst in fighting for justice not only for his Uncle, but also many other families is not convinced at the recent pronouncements made by the NDPP and Minister of DOJ &CD. “They continue making utterances with no action. The dates have not been set for the commencement of the re-opened inquests for Dr Neil Aggett and Dr Hoosen Haffejee despite official announcements from the previous Minister Masutha made in October 2018 and June 2019 respectively. 

Cajee added that alleged perpetrators like Steven Whitehead who tortured Dr Aggett had passed on, the same day the announcement was made for the re-opening of the Aggett inquest. The investigation into Neville Els and Seth Sons in the Timol matter as per ruling of Judge Mothle in 2017 has to date not been concluded.

Judge Monama will preside over court proceedings on Friday, 02 August 2019 at the Palmridge High Court, Room No 13 at 10:00


Issued by Imtiaz Ahmed Cajee – Nephew of Ahmed Timol


26 June 2017                   

Re-Opening of the Timol Inquest

12 October 2017             

Ruling handed down and 1972 Verdict overturned

30 July 2018                     

Rodrigues charged and 1st court appearance in Johannesburg Magistrate Court

18 September 2018 

Rodrigues Court Appearance at South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg

15 October 2018             

Rodrigues Court Appearance at South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg

22 October 2018             

Rodrigues Court Appearance at South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg

20 November 2019         

Meeting in Chambers

28 January 2019              

Rodrigues Court Appearance at Palm Ridge Court, Germiston

28 & 29 March 2019               

Application for Permanent Stay of Prosecution (342A) Argued at South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg

31 May 2019                      

Judgment handed down at South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg

28 June 2019                    

Rodrigues Court Appearance at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg