PRESS RELEASE: 16 February 2021
João ‘Jan’ Anastacio Rodrigues made another appearance for his role in the murder of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol at the Palmridge High Court earlier today.
Judge Monama P could hardly contain his frustration regarding the fact that the outcome of Roderigues’ appeal to the the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein is still pending. Legal counsel for Rodrigues petitioned the SCA lodging an appeal against the 342 A decision of the Full Bench of the South Gauteng High Court which was dismissed on 31 May 2019. The Full Bench judgment was scathing on the conduct of the National Prosecution Authority. (Read judgment here). The appeal to the SCA was heard virtually on 6 November 2020.
The Judge bemoaned the fact that apart from the lengthy delay in finalization of the matter, justice could hardly be said to be done.
In acknowledging that 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Mr. Ahmed Timol, the judge remarked, “it pains me to look the families in the eye as they are desperately seeking justice”. I have run out of commentary”, explain the exasperated judge.
The Judge enquired if a full disclosure had been made on the total costs incurred by the legal representation of Rodrigues’s legal counsel. The counsel for the State responded, that to the best of her knowledge, a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) Application was submitted by Timol’s nephew, Imtiaz Ahmed Cajee in May 2019 to the Department of Justice & Correctional Services (DOJ&CD) requesting the total financial costs incurred by the State for the legal costs of Joao Antonio Rodrigues. The attorney for Rodrigues, Mr Ben Minnaar refused to consent to such disclosure citing the right to privacy. (Read his response here).
Rodrigues’s bail was extended and his next court appearance is scheduled for 08 April 2021.