Inquest finds anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timor was murdered

Lester Mason
October 12, 2017

In his opening remarks of the much anticipated judgment on Thursday‚ Judge Mothle praised the persistent efforts of Ahmed Timol's nephew‚ Imtiaz Cajee‚ who fought to have the inquest reopened.

"It is sad that it took so long", Nobel Peace Prize victor and former archbishop Desmond Tutu said in a statement read out by Timol's family, local media reported. An inquest found that the South African Communist Party member was murdered after his arrest and transfer to a Johannesburg police station where opponents of white minority rule were often held without trial and tortured.

He said one of the lessons from this reopened inquest was the fact that the reopening came late in the day when most of the members of the Security Branch involved with the interrogation of Timol and the investigation of Timol's death had died.

Judge Motlhe commended for their courage the numerous former political detainees who testified in horrifying detail about their own torture at the hands of the apartheid-era security police. The country's system of white-minority rule ended in the early 1990s.

His family, with the help of the nonprofit Foundation on Human Rights, International Centre for Transitional Justice adviser Howard Varney, law firm Webber Wentzel, the Legal Resource Centre and private investigator Frank Dutton, finally convinced the National Prosecuting Authority to reopen the inquest after uncovering new evidence.

Forensic pathologist Dr Shakeera Holland testified that Timol's fractured skull would have rendered him unconscious‚ which would have made it impossible for him to move around and jump out of a window.

Former security policeman Joao Rodrigues, who said he was in the room with Timol when he died, has stood by his story, saying the activist dove out of the window before Rodrigues could stop him.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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