The year 2020 marks the 49th anniversary of the murder of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol. A book titled ‘THE MURDER OF AHMED TIMOL – My search for the Truth’ by Timol’s nephew, Imtiaz Ahmed Cajee is set to be launched in March this year. National launches are scheduled in partnership with the Steve Biko and Imam Haron Foundations, including support from numerous other victims’ families all seeking truth and justice for the killing of their loves ones during the apartheid-era.
The Ahmed Timol Exhibition launched in 2015 (currently at Freedom Park until end of January 2020) is been digitised and will be made accessible on the Timol website. An updated narrative of the life, times and murder of Ahmed Timol, and a series of key edited film clips of the 2017 re-opened inquest form part of the digital exhibition.
To mark 15 years since the launch of the 2005 book titled, ‘TIMOL – QUEST FOR JUSTICE’ (foreword by President Thabo Mbeki), a freed download of the book will be made available on the Ahmed Timol website. (www.ahmedtimol.co.za)
A date is yet to be allocated by the SCA in Bloemfontein to hear the petition brought by the legal team of Joao Rodrigues seeking his permanent stay of prosecution for his role in the murder of Timol. Rodrigues on his own version of events in the 1972 and 2017 Inquests, was the last person in the room with Uncle Ahmed before he ‘allegedly’ jumped to his death in October 1971. The re-opened inquest into the death of Timol reversed the suicide findings of the then presiding Magistrate de Villiers. The 2017 inquest found the Timol had been murdered.
On 30 July 2016, Rodrigues made his first court appearance and his criminal case is yet to commence as the verdict from the SCA is awaited. The investigation into criminal cases against former Security Police officers Neville Els and Seth Sons for their roles in the death of Timol is yet to be concluded, more than two years since the historic ruling.
Until recently, Mr Roderigues was represented by three counsels, including a former employee of the State Attorney turned private counsel. Three counsels continue to represent him including two advocates, one of whom is a senior counsel, at the cost of the State. A PAIA Application submitted by Timol’s nephew to the DOJ revealed that the state had paid more than R3.5 million Rands to cover Rodrigues’s legal costs since his appearance at the 2017 Inquest, subsequent criminal case and his application to the SCA appealing the ruling of a full bench that dismissed his application for a permanent stay of prosecution.
The year also marks the 60th anniversaries of the Sharpeville and Langa march (1960); 30th anniversary of the Cradock Four (1985) and the murder of anti-apartheid lawyer, Victoria Mxenge who was assassinated by government-backed “death squads”.
The re-opening of the inquest into the death of trade unionist Dr Neil Aggett is set to commence at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on 20th January 2020. He was detained by the apartheid Security Branch in 1981 at the notorious John Vorster police cells in Johannesburg. He was found dead under mysterious circumstances after allegedly hanging himself on February 5 1982. An inquest held at the time found that he had committed suicide and that the police were not responsible for his death.
The family of Maritzburg medical doctor Dr Hoosen Haffejee are still awaiting a date for the re-opening of the inquest into his death despite the former Minister of Justice announcing this in September 2018. Dr Haffejee died on August 3 1977 at the Brighton Police Station in Durban‚ within twenty hours of been arrested by the Special Branch under the Terrorism Act. The police claimed that he hanged himself with his trousers. Despite multiple injuries covering Haffejee’s back‚ knees‚ arms and head‚ apartheid magistrate‚ Trevor Blunden – who presided over the inquest in 1978 – ruled that Haffejee had committed suicide.
Families of the many anti-apartheid activists who lost their lives whilst in police detention and in skirmishes with security police continue to eagerly monitor court proceedings pertaining to Joao Roderiques, charged for murder and defeating the ends of justice for the killing of Ahmed Timol. They eagerly await to hear from the NPA on when their matters are to be investigated.
Issued by the Imtiaz Ahmed Cajee – Nephew of Ahmed Timol