Week 5: Dr Hoosen Haffejee Inquest


16 September 2021: Courtesy of Howard Varney Facebook Post

Inquest & Media Reports

Former security branch officer to testify in struggle activist Haffejee’s murder case

13 September 2021, SABC

Former security branch police officer Mohan Gopal is expected to testify on Monday in the inquest into the death of struggle activist Doctor Hoosen Haffejee in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg. Haffejee, who was a member of the African National Congress (ANC) military wing Umkontho we Sizwe, died in police police detention in Durban in 1977. The initial inquest ruled that he had hanged himself in a cell. However, the reopened inquest has heard evidence from two medical experts that Haffejee died from strangulation.


Former security officer describes Hoosen Haffejee’s torture as a ‘horrible nightmare’

13 September 2021,  SABC  
Hoosen Haffejee’s sister and brother Sara Lall and Ismael Haffejee are seen seated inside the Pietermaritzburg High Court in this picture taken on the 17 of August, 2021.


A former security police officer has described the torture of Doctor Hoosen Haffejee during detention as a horrible nightmare.  Mohun Gopal is testifying in the Pietermaritzburg High Court in the reopened inquest into Haffejee’s death in 1977.  An inquest ruled in 1978 that Haffejee hung himself in a police cell. Gopal is the only surviving person who witnessed Haffejee’s interrogation.   


Former Security Branch officer says Haffejee could not have committed suicide

14 September 2019: IOL By Samkelo Mtshali

THE reopened inquest into the death of Dr Hoosen Haffejee on Tuesday heard evidence from a former Security Branch police officer who was present during his interrogation who told the inquest that Haffejee was not in any state to have been able to commit suicide. Mohum Gopal, a junior within the apartheid era Security Branch police at the time of Haffejee’s death on August 3, 1977, told Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Zaba Nkosi that he had been beaten up so badly and was so weak that it was unfathomable how he would have managed to take his own life by hanging himself.


Ex-Security Branch officer tells of hidden injuries at Haffejee inquest

15 September 2021: IOL By Samkelo Mtshali 

Pietermaritzburg – IN the spotlight today at the reopened inquest probing the death of Pietermaritzburg-born dentist Dr Hoosen Haffejee was the injuries he exhibited on his arms, that former Security Branch police officer Mohun Gopal said had been hidden by charge office officers and senior Security Branch officers. Gopal told Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Zaba Nkosi, presiding over the inquest, that Haffejee did not have any injuries when he left the Brighton Beach police station before midnight on Tuesday, August 2, 1977.


Security Branch fabricated information on Dr Rick Turner’s murder – inquest hears

15 September 2021: IOL By Samkelo Mtshali 

THE reopened inquest into the death of Pietermaritzburg-born dentist Dr Hoosen Haffejee has also heard evidence from former Security Branch police officer Mohum Gopal, on events leading to the assassination of anti-apartheid activist Dr Rick Turner. During his testimony this week in the Pietermaritzburg High Court’s, Gopal told Judge Zaba Nkosi, who is presiding over the inquest, that the information around Haffejee’s death was a “big fabrication”.



Other Media Reports

Government, NPA complicit in denying apartheid-era victims justice

12 September 2021: IOL – By Yasmin Sooka, Opinion 

OPINION: Joao Rodrigues’s death is a huge blow, not only to the Timol family but to many other families of apartheid-era victims whose search for the truth about how their loved ones died has been deliberately obstructed by the delay in pursuing the cases, writes Yasmin Sooka. The death of Joao Rodrigues, indicted for the murder of the late Ahmed Timol, on Tuesday could not have come at a worse time for the ruling party and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).


Unfiltered | Remembering Steve Biko: 13 September 2021


12 September 2021: ByAfriForum

The civil rights organisation AfriForum released a documentary that also highlights the crimes of ANC members and their alliance partners during the apartheid era. This comes after the state announced plans to prosecute politically-motivated crimes that were committed during apartheid. Adv. Shamila Batohi, Head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), is in the process of establishing a unit to prosecute these crimes. The Hawks has already established a unit to investigate these crimes.